The World Oral Health Report (2003) stated clearly that the relationship between oral health and general health is proven by evidence. Since that report, new evidence has emerged further strengthening the case. Oral health and general health are related in four major ways:
- Poor oral health is significantly associated with major chronic diseases.
- Poor oral health causes disability.
- Oral health issues and major diseases share common risk factors
- General health problems may cause or worsen oral health conditions.
Let’s dive deeper and look at how poor oral health can affect different areas of our body.
- Brain – Oral diseases are associated with stroke. Harmful bacteria in your mouth can make you more susceptible to developing blood clots, thus increasing the chance of a stroke.
- Lungs – Once dental plaque is established in the mouth, it can spread to the lungs and cause pneumonia and bronchitis. Maintaining good oral health can decrease the incidence of respiratory infections.
- Heart – High levels of inflammation associated with periodontal disease contribute to heart conditions. And those with gum disease are twice as likely to have a heart attack.
- Pancreas – When you’re diabetic your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to gingivitis and other oral manifestations.
- Pregnancy – Expecting mothers with periodontal disease are more likely to have a pre-term birth.
- Osteoporosis – Gum disease cause bone loss that can lead to tooth loss.
- Breast Cancer – Women with periodontal disease have higher rates of breast cancer.