Your oral health can be an important indicator of overall health concerns and maintaining it can also make a difference to more than your mouth.
According to WebMD:
Researchers know there’s a synergic relationship between oral health and overall wellness. Gum disease is linked to a host of illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. By combing through 1,000-plus medical histories, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry found that people with gum diseasewere twice as likely as others to die from a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke.
Gum disease is the most common chronic inflammatory condition in the world, yet it’s often a silent disease, Ryan says. Why? The mouth can act as a portal of entry for an infection, says Salomon Amar, DMD, PhD, professor and director at the Center for Anti-inflammatory Therapeutics at Boston University School of Dental Medicine. Ongoing inflammation in your mouth can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which may lead to more inflammation in other parts of your body, such as the heart.
Your mouth is a window into what’s going on in the rest of your body, often serving as a helpful vantage point for detecting the early signs and symptoms of systemic disease — a disease that affects or pertains to your entire body, not just one of its parts. Systemic conditions such as AIDS or diabetes, for example, often first become apparent as mouth lesions or other oral problems. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms.
Given the overall impact oral health can have on overall health, it just makes sense to take good care of your mouth.