Even though you’d think our focus is only on your oral health, our experience tells us that if you have a healthy mouth, the chances are, you’re in pretty good shape in general. Hence the old expression…the mouth is the mirror to the body. In this article we’re going to consider how your oral health reflects your overall health and what certain dental complaints may signify in your general health.
It’s tempting to just think about cases of mouth ulcers or even mouth cancer and other very clear conditions associated with your mouth area. But there are a number of other dental conditions where researchers can claim some connection with general health issues.
The relationship between gum disease and heart disease is well established. And in some cases bad breath and bleeding gums are indicators of diabetes. It has also been shown that dental x-rays can show the first stages of bone loss and that a painful or sore jaw could be an indicator of a heart attack.
Let’s take a very specific situation to illustrate what we’re talking about….
Periodontitis is a disease of your gums where small pockets develop between the tooth and the gum, and tiny bacteria live in these pockets. In certain cases, these bacteria can be released into the blood steam leaving your immune system at the mercy of an internal attack. Think of how this will affect the entire body.
International research shows that more than 90% of all systemic diseases (diseases involving many organs or the whole body) show initial signs in the mouth, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth and excessive gum problems.
These include everything from Diabetes and Leukaemia to Oral and Pancreatic Cancer. The best thing you can do to keep on top of your dental health is continue to make regular visits to your dentist. Your dentist will be the first to assess your overall health in many cases. At Walkinstown Dental Surgery, our 12 point plan is designed to not only assess the immediate issues in your mouth but to give us an overall assessment of your current health.
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