The Link Between Oral and Overall Health

Did you know that there is a direct relationship between dental health and overall health? What about the fact that your oral health can show clues about your general health? There are many things that can have an effect on your oral health, certain medications, poor oral hygiene and even certain diseases can have a direct impact on the health of your teeth and gums.

Poor Oral Health Symptoms

There are quite a few signs it may be time to visit your local dentist. While these aren’t the only symptoms you should be keeping an eye out for, these are the most common symptoms patients with poor dental health experience:

  • Bleeding gums when eating, brushing or flossing
  • Signs of pus around gums or teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath or frequent bad taste in your mouth
  • Migrating teeth or teeth that appear loose
  • Red, painful swollen gums

The Connection Between Overall and Oral Health

According to the Academy of General dentistry, about 90% of systemic diseases can result in oral symptoms. Diseases such as diabetes and HIV are perfect examples of diseases that have oral symptoms. Quite often patients are diagnosed with such diseases due to lesions in the mouth and other oral complications. Bacteria and plaque can also make diabetes harder to manage, resulting in health complications. Heart disease is another disease directly impacted by your oral health. Bacteria from the mouth can spread throughout the body. These bacteria attach to damaged areas and increase inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to infections of the heart, stroke and even heart attack!

Certain medications can also have a direct effect on your overall oral health. Both medications you can purchase over-the-counter and those prescribed by your doctor. The reason most of these medications can affect oral health is due to the dry mouth side effect. Saliva is necessary to clean debris and bacteria from the mouth. If you are unsure of the impact your medications will have on your dental health, we’d be happy to answer any questions.