Link of Dental Care and Health

There is so much research, this past ten years or more, that has found a solid link between dental health and one’s general health. In 2006, the staff at the Mayo Clinic confirmed this linkage. The reason for this linkage is the presence of bacteria and inflammation within the mouth and its association with other diseases. Also, there are general health conditions that can adversely affect the health of one’s mouth. First, we shall review how bacteria and inflammation from periodontal disease links to one’s general health.

Research over the years has demonstrated a linkage of bacteria and inflammation from periodontal disease to heart infection, cardiovascular disease, and to premature birth and low birth weight. These risk factors of bacteria and inflammation from periodontal disease may be caused by medications as well as from inadequate oral hygiene and problematic genetic factors. Medications that can lead to this increased bacteria and inflammation include decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants. Just as oral conditions can lead to general health problems, it is possible for health conditions to adversely affect one’s oral health. This will now be addressed.

The health conditions that can affect one’s oral health include diabetes, HIV and AIDS, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. There are ways in which one may help to prevent this linkage.

To help prevent oral problems and general health problems, it is necessary to have effective oral hygiene habits, to eat a healthier diet, to replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months, to visit your dentist regularly for preventive appointments, and to avoid tobacco use.

It is clear that one’s oral health and general health are linked together in some way. Prevention is the key to helping to prevent adverse oral and health conditions.

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