The Mouth-Body Connection

Regularly scheduled dental appointments with the team at Hannon & Sandler are not just good for your teeth and gums, but also for your entire body. Recent studies have indicated that there is a direct connection between your oral and general health. Taking care of your teeth and gums is about much more than pleasant breath and a sparkling smile.

Diabetes and Oral Health
Research suggests that although people with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis), treating gum disease can actually help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing HgA1C levels and the progression of the disease as a whole.

  • If diabetes is left untreated:
  • You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. (Xerostomia is also caused by certain medications.)
  • Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of cavities and tooth loss.
  • 1 in 5 cases of total tooth loss are linked to uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Gums may become inflamed and bleed often (gingivitis).
  • You may have problems tasting food.
  • You may experience delayed wound healing.
  • You may be susceptible to infections inside of your mouth.
  • For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an age earlier than is typical.

Heart Disease and Oral Health
While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven between heart disease and poor oral health, research show that periodontal disease is highly correlated with the incidence of heart disease. Patients with severe periodontal disease have a 17% higher risk of stroke than periodontally healthy patients. Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions, Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures – consult your cardiologist or any of the doctors in the office to determine your need.

Research today is also being conducted on linkages between oral health/Alzheimer’s disease, and oral health/pneumonia. If you believe you may be suffering from gum disease, it is imperative that you and your loved ones receive regular dental cleanings and checkups. Schedule an appointment with the team at Hannon & Sandler today.

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