The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

The link between oral health and overall health has been proven significant. It is no secret that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body. Because certain diseases may appear in the mouth first, a dentist can oftentimes diagnose more than just a cavity.

PDA member, Dr. Steven Grater, explains that signs of certain diseases appear in the mouth before they appear elsewhere.


How can a dentist detect other health problems?
Dental professionals are trained to look for many systemic diseases simply through your regular oral exam. For example, dental X-rays show more than just cavities; they also can point to early signs of osteoporosis.

What types of disease can be linked back to oral health?

Studies have shows the link between periodontal (gum) disease and coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, heart disease bacterial pneumonia, pre-term births and low-birth weight babies. In addition, oral health problems can negatively affect your ability to speak, chew and swallow properly, which can have an adverse impact on your ability to consume the nutrition your body needs to remain healthy.

What can I do to stay healthy?

Brushing and flossing several times a day will help remove bacteria from the mouth, that otherwise could potentially travel through your body and cause problems elsewhere. Visit the dentist regularly for professional cleaning and checkups to help prevent any problems and help detect possible problems in their early stages. Be sure to provide your dentist with a complete health history, including any illnesses and medication use.


American DentalAssociation: Oral-Systemic Health
News Release: The Connection Between Oral Health and Systemic Diseases