Oral and systemic health connection

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oral and systemic health connection

The Oral-Systemic Health Connection: A Guide to Patient Care by Michael Glick

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Published 06.01.2019

Is Oral Health Linked To Heart Health?

And while associations between oral and systemic health can be made and research is on the rise, specific cause-and-effect relationships remain elusive. Life—and certainly health—are not so easily defined, packaged, and distributed. Links have been made between oral health and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and osteoarthritis.
Michael Glick

So Why Do We Call It the Oral-Systemic Health Connection?

Your oral health is more important than you might realize. Learn how the health of your mouth, teeth and gums can affect your general health. Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Protect yourself by learning more about the connection between your oral health and overall health. Like other areas of the body, your mouth teems with bacteria — mostly harmless. But your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease. Normally the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control.

Metrics details. Dentists in the US see an increasing number of patients with systemic conditions. These patients are challenging to care for when the relationship between oral and systemic disease is not well understood. The prevalence of professional isolation exacerbates the problem due to the difficulty in finding expert advice or peer support. This study aims to identify whether dentists discuss the oral-systemic connection and what aspects they discuss; to understand their perceptions of and attitudes toward the connection; and to determine what information they need to treat patients with systemic conditions. Using natural language processing and human classification, we identified substantive phrases and keywords and used them to retrieve messages on the oral-systemic connection.

The oral cavity is the intersection of medicine and dentistry and the window into the general health of a patient. Hundreds of diseases and medications impact the oral cavity, and pathologic conditions in the mouth have a greater systemic impact than many providers appreciate. It is unclear whether there is true causality or just an association between periodontal disease and certain other systemic conditions, including atherosclerotic vascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, pregnancy-related complications, osteoporosis, and kidney disease. Diabetes has a true bidirectional relationship with periodontal disease, and there is strong evidence that treating one condition positively impacts the other. A shared trait of periodontal disease and these medical conditions is that they are chronic conditions that take a long time to develop and become clinically significant. Primary prevention-treating the patient prior to the onset of symptoms, myocardial infarction, stroke, diabetic complications, or significant periodontal disease-is the challenge.

Essential Dental Knowledge

Though studies are ongoing, researchers have known for quite some time that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body. PDA strives to educate the public about the role oral health plays in some systemic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and oral health complications during pregnancy. PDA wants you to know what you can do to keep your teeth, gums and body healthy. Diabetics are more prone to several oral health conditions, including tooth decay, periodontal gum disease, dry mouth and infection. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth, and is caused by plaque-forming bacteria in your mouth.


  1. Moira C. says:

    The Connection Between Oral Health and Systemic Diseases. It's not news that there is a significant link between one's oral health and overall health. Though.

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