What's the connection between oral health and overall health?
The relationship between oral health and overall health is bidirectional, meaning that poor oral health could be a reflection of an unhealthy body and it could also be the cause of an unhealthy body .
You may already be aware that tooth decay is usually caused by excessive sugar consumption which is indicative of a poor diet.  But the connection between oral health and overall health is much deeper, and often, much less obvious.
Here are just a few examples of how poor oral health can affect different organs of the body.
Poor oral health can lead to gum disease like gingivitis. Infected gums could send bacteria through the bloodstream and into the brain. A recent analysis led by NIA scientists suggests that bacteria that cause gum disease are also associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, especially vascular dementia.
There is a link between heart disease and periodontal disease – a mouth disease that causes tooth damage and infected gums.  The heart becomes damaged by infected blood flowing from infected gums. This is especially concerning because a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 50% of American adults aged 30 and older and 70% of those aged 65 and older have some stage of gum disease. 
Oral inflammation affects the kidney function and impedes their ability to fight off disease. There is a direct link between kidney disease and gum disease.  Patients suffering from severe gum inflammation tend to have less healthy kidneys.
Evidence suggests that oral disorders, such as periodontal disease, may influence the course of respiratory infections like bacterial pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Oral periodontopathic bacteria can be aspirated into the lung causing aspiration pneumonia. In addition, your teeth could also serve as a reservoir for respiratory pathogen colonization and subsequent nosocomial pneumonia. The overreaction of the inflammatory process that leads to the destruction of the connective tissue is present for both periodontal disease and emphysema. This overreaction could explain the association between periodontal disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The mechanisms of infection could be the aspiration into the lung of oral pathogens capable of causing pneumonia, colonization of dental plaque by respiratory pathogens followed by aspiration, or facilitation of colonization of the upper airway by pulmonary pathogens by periodontal pathogens.
Studies show relationship between PD and adverse pregnancy outcomes – preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes.
These actions occur:
- Via bacteremia when the bacteria originating in the biofilm are introduced to the feto-placental unit.
- Via the inflammatory mediators secreted at the gingival site of infection are carried to the placental unit
- Triggers production of prostaglandins that are suspected to introduce premature labor.
Peanut Plaza Dental can improve your oral health
The good news is that good oral health care, coupled with daily flossing and brushing, can significantly decrease the risk of illnesses caused by mouth disease.
Peanut Plaza Dental is staffed by accomplished dentists and experienced hygienists to offer the highest quality of oral health care in North York.