We have all heard that saying ” our eyes are the window to our soul”, but how many of us have ever realized that our mouth is the window into our body? Well it’s true. For quite some time we have known that there is a link between oral health and overall general health. According to The American Academy of Periodontology, “research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other diseases in the body; however, more recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal disease but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.” 1
Research indicates that periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are associated. Periodontal disease may actually increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Both diseases are chronic inflammatory conditions. Untreated periodontal disease can increase inflammation in the body, which may increase the risk of developing severe health complications.
Research has found that the bacteria that grows in the mouth can be aspirated into the lungs and cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. The risk increases if you have periodontal disease.
One study looked at the relationship between oral infection and stroke. People diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.
Patients with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes. Diabetics are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often a complication of diabetes. Patients who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk. Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways- periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar. This puts patients with diabetes at increased risk for complications.
1 The American Academy of Periodontology. www.perio.org
Your dental check-up and cleanings not only keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright, but also help keep your body healthy.
So go on what are you waiting for? Grab your toothbrush and floss, you’ll be happy you did!