Four of today’s most debilitating diseases have been linked to one aspect of your health and you probably don’t know which this is.
Did you know that your oral health can offer clues about your overall health – or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? It is time you understand the intimate connection between oral health and overall health and what you can do to protect yourself.
Most of us have loved ones that have been tragically affected by cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes among other prevalent diseases. With more and more studies on associated conditions, significant connections between diseases are discovered and understood.
Years ago, a doctor who suspected heart disease would probably not refer the patient to a dentist. The same went for diabetes, pregnancy, or just about any other medical condition. But in the past decade, we have seen an increasing interest in possible links between oral health and general health.
While it is recognized that oral health and general health are inseparable, it’s still common to ignore signs and symptoms of oral disease and dysfunction. But oral health is integral to your general health and you cannot be fully healthy without a healthy mouth.
The Body and Health Connection
Your mouth is the centre of communication and contact. Along with the eyes, ears, and nose, your mouth is positioned near the brain, ensuring close integration and coordination. In this area, we also house the organs of taste, vision, hearing, and smell, enabling us to experience and interact with the world around us. We speak, taste, chew and swallow. We express our feelings through smiles and frowns; we yell and we cry; we whisper sweet nothings and kiss our loved ones.
Dentists have known that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body for years and it seems the rest of the world has finally caught on to this fact. Studies are popping up on the evening news, and The American Academy of Periodontics has pioneered the way in showing a correlation between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease among other conditions.
We now see an early diagnosis of everything from acid reflux to diabetes based on oral conditions. And with all of this available knowledge, we can no longer ignore the crucial role dentists play in patients’ overall health.
Your dentist, for a number of reasons, is the ideal health provider to identify and help manage many issues that contribute to inflammation and to systemic health. With a structured approach, they can identify, diagnose, and treat some of the most important inflammatory contributors.