In this part of our website, we hope to increase your knowledge and understanding of some of the ways your general health and oral health are intimately connected.
Firstly, it is important to understand that your body is a complex machine made of complex systems that all interrelate. No part of your body operates like an island. If you have health conditions that plague one system, there is a good chance that this will have a role in creating an imbalance in other systems. This is the case with your oral health too!
If you have diabetes, gastro-intestinal problems, smoke, take medication for high-blood pressure or suffer from immune system deficiencies, we will commonly see evidence of that in your mouth. The converse is true as well...... if you have poor oral health, it can greatly effect your general health.
Recently, much attention has been paid to the discovery that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease. There is also a demonstrated connection between poorly controlled Type II diabetes and gum disease. We know that there is a link between gum disease and premature births as well. The mechanisms of these connections are not clear, but the list of systemic "links" is growing every year.
In the last half-century, dentists and physicians have thought that gum disease was a focused infection and that, as such, it was NOT a factor in your general health. More recent evidence, however, has indicated that patients with gum disease (periodontitis) have increased levels of blood components that are associated with the whole body's immune response.
The mouth is a busy place. Did you know that there are more than 500 species of bacteria that can be present in the mouth? Until very recently, health professionals have not recognized the significance of this and most did not connect your oral health to your general health. Thankfully, a paradigm shift is occurring that acknowledges the fact that the mouth is one of the most important "gateways" to the body, with connections to your whole immune system, your blood system, heart disease, problems with pregnancy, and much more. We hope you will explore those connections on this website and do some of your own research as well.
Here are some terrific links to related subjects and healthful websites:
We hope that whether you are a layperson or another health care provider, this part of our web site will help you to help yourself and others live longer, healthier lives.