I am becoming more and more aware and concerned with the link between oral health and overall health. Taking care of your oral health positively contributes to your overall health and well-being. Researchers have established links between gum disease and other health ailments. While it is not perfectly clear whether there is a cause and effect relationship, we do know that there are links between gum disease and many other health conditions. We know that gum disease can be prevented, treated and sometimes reversed, which indicates that patients may be able to influence their overall health by actively managing their oral health.
Prevention is the key. Good oral home care routines combined with regular dental visits is the best way to prevent gum disease. Brushing, flossing and rinsing at home helps reduce the build up of plaque. By maintaining regular dental visits we can remove additional plaque and monitor gum disease warning signs. We will discuss any evidence of gum disease with you so that you can also manage any changes in your overall health. Here are some links that have been demonstrated between oral health and overall health.
- Heart Disease & Stroke: People with gum disease are almost TWICE as likely to suffer coronary artery disease as those without gum disease.
- Pulmonary Infection: Harmful bacteria from gum infections has been linked with pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Osteoporosis: Women with osteoporosis may be at higher risk for gum disease and people with gum disease may be at a higher risk of underlying osteoporosis.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, which in turn can make it more difficult to control blood sugar.
- Oral Cancer: An association has been found between serious periodontal disease and pre-cancerous lesions and oral tumors.
- Pregnancy: Periodontal disease during pregnancy has been linked with toxemia, pre-term delivery and babies with lower birth weights.
Periodontal disease is a condition that can be successfully treated and managed. Remember to brush, floss and rinse your teeth. Never share your toothbrush and replace it regularly. It really doesn’t matter what brand of toothbrush you use, as long as it has soft or medium strength bristles. The best toothbrush to use is the one that you will use!
Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380