What Is the “Mouth-Body Connection”?

By erhughesdds on April 17, 2015

An older woman riding a bicycle, her overall health being quite good due to her attention to her oral healthYou have almost certainly heard that old romantic adage that “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” Fair enough, and definitely beautiful enough. But on a more practical level, it could be said that the mouth is the gateway to the health of the entire body. Sure, it’s not as ethereal, but it underlies the importance of general dentistry and taking care of your oral health.

Unfortunately, the mouth is the most neglected part of the entire body when it comes to health care. The American Dental Association recommends that the average adult visit the dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and thorough oral exams, but the average adult fails to visit the dentist even once a year. In fact, most people go to the dentist only when a dental emergency forces them to do so. Perhaps they would be more inclined to visit the dentist regularly if they understood the mouth-body connection.

What is the mouth-body connection, you may be asking? Simply stated, it is the link between your oral health and your overall health. It is a link that has become well understood by scientists and researchers only within the past couple of decades, and word is just beginning to spread among the general population. Certainly, we are doing our best to make sure that the importance of the mouth-body connection is understood by patients of our Sterling dental practice. We hope soon to count you among those patients so that we can help to improve your oral health and, by extension, your overall health.

Did You Know…?

Here are just a few facts that you may not have known about the connection between your oral health and your overall health:

  • According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90 percent of systemic diseases present oral symptoms, including lesions.
  • There are more than 500 forms of bacteria in your mouth.
  • According to Mayo Clinic, people who lose their teeth before the age of 35 may face a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Again, according to Mayo Clinic, periodontal bone loss and tooth loss may be linked with osteoporosis, the condition in which a person’s bones become weak and brittle.
  • Studies have shown that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease, in addition to worsening existing heart problems.
  • Studies have also suggested a link between periodontal disease and an increased risk of stroke and diabetes.
  • Pregnant women with periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease, are at increased risk of having a premature or low-birth-weight baby.
  • Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world, with more than 400,000 new cases reported each year.

These are just a few of the ways in which the mouth-body connection can be demonstrated. In truth, nearly every aspect of your mouth’s health can be related to your whole body’s health, and vice-versa.

Learn More about the Mouth-Body Connection

To learn more about the mouth-body connection, please contact the dental practice of E. Richard Hughes, DDS today.

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