Oral Health vs. Overall Health

Many people will tell you that being healthy includes exercise and eating a balanced diet. But not a lot of people realize that being healthy also includes regular dental checkups. Recently, there have been multiple studies showing that poor dental health can lead to a variety of health concerns including heart attacks, low birth weight and diabetes.

If not properly treated, bacteria in the mouth can affect the heart when it enters the blood stream and attaches fatty plaques throughout the heart’s blood vessels. This can result in the formation of clots & potential heart attacks.

Studies also show that periodontal disease can cause low birth weight in babies. Women with periodontal disease have a greater risk for giving birth to babies that are born too early and/or too small. Periodontal disease also increases the biological fluid that induces labor which causes the risk of pre-mature babies.

Individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease due to a weakened immune system (about twice the risk). Diabetes and periodontal disease can also assist in increasing blood sugar levels. Oral symptoms of diabetes include but are not limited to: difference in taste, burning mouth syndrome, abnormal wound healing and fungal infections. Check your mouth periodically to see if you notice anything abnormal such as bleeding, white patches, bad taste, dryness, and/or soreness.

So, is your family really healthy? Do they brush and floss daily? Does each family member have at least two professional dental cleanings a year? Forming these healthy habits in our children early in their development will result in better overall health for the rest of their lives!

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