Link between Your Oral Health and Overall Health
Your mouth can provide our dentist with an important window into the state of not just your dental health but also your overall health and can even catch early warning signs so that you can take the necessary steps to improve your health. Your gums, teeth and even your breath can indicate dental problems that have been linked to serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections and diabetes.
The plaque on your teeth is not the same as the plaque that clogs arteries, but researchers have discovered a link between the two substances. Toxins that are contained in oral plaque trigger inflammation throughout the body and particularly in the blood vessels where it stimulates the production of arterial plaque.
Gum disease is triggered by the bacteria in plaque. When these bacteria are aspirated into the lungs, they can trigger life-threatening respiratory infections.
Patients with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing dry mouth and gum disease. Gum disease and other infections may also be more difficult to treat and can make it more difficult for those with diabetes to control their blood glucose levels.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
HPV and HIV can both affect your oral health. HPV is considered the most common STI and can cause small clusters of warts on the soft tissues in the mouth. HPV is also risk factor for oral cancer. HIV can increase the risk of thrush, dry mouth and other oral health problems.