Oral Systemic Connection: the Mouth, the Window to Health

Categories: General

When considering your health, teeth may be the last thing on your mind. However, your oral health can play a larger role in contributing to your overall wellness than you think. Dental health is tied to the body’s overall health, which can be best described using the concept of the oral-systemic link.

What is the Oral-Systemic Link?

The entire body transfers necessary materials for living healthily between its parts through an intricate circulatory system that connects the heart, the lungs, the arteries, and the veins. The link between the mouth and the rest of the body is known as the oral-systemic connection.

When dental health is compromised, the portion of the circulatory system leading to the mouth can be a gateway for pathogens to enter the bloodstream. Harmful bacteria enters through small pockets between teeth and travels throughout the body, disrupting overall health and exacerbating existing medical conditions.

Periodontal disease, which is an inflammatory disease of supporting gums, can be a major culprit in contributing to systemic-related issues. Plaque and tartar house harmful bacteria and open up a path where those pathogens can enter the bloodstream. Patients suffering from such issues as periodontal disease can be at greater risk of developing complications:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Bacterial Pneumonia
  • Diabetes
  • Low Birth Weight in Children During Pregnancy
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Bone Resorption

How can I Improve My Dental Health?

Visiting the dental office twice a year allows for proper monitoring of dentition, ensuring patients receive the necessary care to reverse such complications as gum disease and maintain good-standing dental health. A single visit to the dentist can determine whether a patient has periodontal disease and its severity.

As evidence of dental intervention on systemic-related issues, periodontal therapy administered to pregnant mothers with periodontitis has been shown to reduce the incidence of preterm low birth weight deliveries.

Additionally, maintaining proper routine dental care through brushing twice a day and flossing regularly can dramatically decrease a patient’s chances of contracting such issues.

Find Out More

Learn more about how you can improve your dental health, prevent periodontal disease, and contribute to overall wellness with Dr. Erin Sutton. Call or visit Emerald Coast Dentistry in Fort Walton Beach and schedule a consultation.