To the casual observer, the bond between oral health and physical health may be overlooked at best. We’ve heard the old adage, “you are what you eat”, but we haven’t heard as much about how your mouth is reflective of your body’s condition and maybe vice versa. It’s true.
Poor oral health contributes to medical conditions.
Medical conditions may trigger poor oral health.
Recently, a select number of dentists have been certified to conduct blood tests to provide early detection of systemic diseases that the dentist feels may be apparent following an oral cavity examination. U.S. Researchers in the medical and dental community have determined that preventive oral care thwarts off medical conditions and diseases. Definitively there is a bond between oral heath and bodily health.
Who Is At Risk?
Since 75% of the population has a form of periodontal disease which is a bacterial infection that has been linked to disease, the vast majority of people are at risk of an oral body systematic connected disease. The good news is that the dental community is equipped to thwart off the risks of oral body connected diseases. First, check out who is most vulnerable, including:
Any individual of any demographic may be at risk for disease if oral health is not preserved to fight off dental cavities and periodontal disease. This includes, fighting off the associated high level of bacteria found in their blood stream if they have periodontal disease. This includes people with unhealthy lifestyle habits, like smoking, improper tooth brushing, poor bite, unhealthy diet and more.
Elders that have missing teeth may be at risk because it may be difficult to swallow “disease fighting” raw vegetables and fruits. Instead, they may select soft foods and purees that may be high in fat, posing a risk for diseases linked to high fat diets, such as, cancer and diabetes. These foods are often high in sugary carbohydrates and this may lead to tooth decay and gum disease. An elderly person with compromised physical dexterity may not be able to clean their teeth and gums, further harming their systemic and oral health.
Children may be at risk due to lack of oral care, neglect of preventive professional dental cleanings or failure to treat tooth decay.
Anyone with dental decay and subsequent infections that are left untreated may extend to the brain and body, posing a life threatening risk.
Red Flag Indicators and Solutions
Since tooth decay and periodontal disease are red flag indicators for bodily disease, there are several tools that your dentist may use to check for red flag indicators including:
- Micro assay chips that your dentist may use screen for risk factors associated with tooth decay and periodontal disease.
- Vizilite and Velscope technologies used by some dentists provide a fluorescent light to illuminate oral cancer.
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) tests offered by other dentists may allow for a warning about an oncoming heart attack or stroke.
- Saliva tests may one day replace traditional blood tests to screen for cancer.
If that’s not enough ammunition, here’s more:
White spots on the tongue and inner cheeks may be a sign of Leukoplakia or Kaposi Sarcoma which are linked to AIDS. Periodontal disease and jaw bone loss has been linked to diabetes, diminished bone marrow, osteoporosis, oral cancer and pancreatic cancer. Recurring dental infections has been associated with heart disease and stroke. Oropharyngeal Cancer is linked to the Human Papilloma Virus. View some precise statistics based on study results and know how to identify subtle signs of Gum Disease.
As you can see, there is a correlation between oral and body health. So, there’s no better time to strengthen the bond between the oral cavity and the body for our health. Have no fear, self help is here.
Next, Visit Self Help Tips for Your Oral Cavity
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It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.