Call Today! (408) 899-4820             
     
     
     
     
 

Dental Oral Health & General Health. Is there a link?

Yes there is!

So many times I have heard the following phrase, dentistry is like a car wash. It's a funny phrase, but an excellent metaphor for the common misconception that the regular cleanings recommended by your dental professional, are only to remove the plaque that builds up, and give us those polished, sparkling white teeth that we all seem to crave. However, those cleanings and the science of dentistry are so much more.

A regular cleaning at your dental office includes an examination, visibly and by x-rays, of the teeth and gums for signs of disease, the removal of harmful bacteria from those teeth and gums, and a screening for oral cancer. A little more than just a trip to the car wash.

Oral health, meaning the health of the mouth, and general health are closely linked. It is only in recent years that knowledge of this close link has come to light and so it is understandable that the vast majority of people are unaware of the connection.

In this article, I will share some of this recent knowledge. It is my hope that this information will give a better understanding of the role a dental professional can play in the health of each and every person, from newborn to the most senior of seniors. Some of the topics are common knowledge for general health concerns. But, how are they linked with oral health?

Tobacco Use and Oral Health

The use of tobacco not only increases the risk of oral cancer. Scientific research, published recently in the Journal of Academy of General Dentistry, proposes that if you are a smoker of a pack a day, you have a very high risk of losing about two teeth every 10 years. This finding is in close correlation to the degree of advancement of periodontal (gum) disease.

Smoking does not cause gum disease, but it makes it a lot more active. Gum disease can progress without any discomfort. Usually, by the time there is any pain, the point of no return has been reached and you have arrived at the final destination: dentures, along with their accompanying problems.

However, it is not only the smoker risking their oral health. To make matters worse, if you are a smoker and have children, you are putting the oral health of your children at risk. A study showed that secondhand smoke increases the risk for tooth decay.

Regular visits with a dentist can prevent or help minimize the deterioration of oral health for yourself and that of your children.

Heart Disease and Oral Health

The association between heart disease and gum disease was found a few years ago. Even though the research to investigate the details is still active, the link is obvious. Coronary heart disease can develop mostly in people that suffer from periodontal (gum) disease and vice versa.

The gum disease causing bacteria that thrive in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. They then irritate the arteries, making them more susceptible to plaque accumulation. The dislodgement of the arterial plaque can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Regular visits with your dentist can help minimize the risks.

Respiratory Disease and Oral Health

The same gum disease causing bacteria that can enter the bloodstream and potentially cause or exacerbate coronary heart disease can also enter the respiratory tract (airway) putting the individual at a greater risk of respiratory infection or aggravating an already existing condition.

Again, regular visits with your dentist can help minimize any risks.

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) and Oral Health

A dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia, can also put an individual at greater risk of developing cavities and gum disease. A dry mouth can be related to medical conditions, such as Sjorgen's Syndrome. However, many individuals suffer from xerostomia without having underlying conditions.

Taking medications on a regular basis (prescription or over-the-counter) can cause a dry mouth, as can allergies. Those that breathe through the mouth are more likely to have a dry mouth. Any or all of these reasons result in a diminished flow of saliva (spit). Saliva is a mouth's best friend. It can help wash away sticky bacteria, and, dilute acids produced by the bacteria which result in tooth decay (caries), and worsen gum disease.

Many are unaware that they have a dry mouth condition until questioned about medical history or habits. Some solutions to help this condition are to drink more water and chew sugarless gum, preferably one containing xylitol. But, most importantly visit your dentist on a regular basis.

I hope that this article has provided some information that can aid with choices and decisions regarding your own health and that of your loved ones. If you have any questions regarding your risk of tooth decay or gum disease, visit your dentist. Many conditions can be prevented, easily treated, or, at least, maintained by a dentist that will help toward your good overall health.

Is there a link between general health and dental oral health? Yes, there is, and your dentist is your ally in that arena.

My staff and I look forward to meeting you in the near future. Please contact us at Dr K's Dental Group.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Dr. Irina, a San Jose dentist, would like you to learn as much as you can about oral health and proper oral hygiene. You will never dread coming to your dentist in San Jose again because Dr. K's Dental Group teaches you good dental habits, that if followed, will eliminate your fear of the dentist. Learn More >>>

 


Home | Dentist San Jose Services | New Patients | About Us | Current Specials | Contact Us
Childrens Dentistry | Cosmetic Dentist | Dental Crowns | Dental Implants | Teeth Whitening | Veneers
San Jose Cosmetic Dentistry | Dentist San Jose Info | Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement | Sitemap

Copyright © 2013 Dr. K's Dental Group. All rights reserved.

 

 
 

Follow Dr. K's Dental Group Online!
Dr. K on FacebookDr. K on TwitterDr. K on Yelp

 

We Proudly Serve Patients in the
Greater Bay Area, Including:

• San Jose 95130, 95117, 95129 • West San Jose
• Sunnyvale • Campbell 95008 • Palo Alto
• Mountain View • Los Gatos • Saratoga 95070
• Evergreen 95148 • Berryessa • Milpitas • Fremont
• Newark • Cupertino 95014 • Monte Sereno
• Santa Clara 95051, 95050

 
 
 
michael kors black friday michael kors Black Friday michael kors Black Friday michael kors Black Friday michael kors Black Friday michael kors black friday lululemon cyber monday kate spade cyber monday hollister cyber monday hollister black friday lululemon cyber monday burberry black friday Tiffany cyber monday Mulberry black friday Ray Ban cyber monday Tiffany cyber monday michael kors black friday coach black Friday beats by dre black Friday uggs cyber monday north face black Friday north face black friday beats by dre black Friday coach cyber Monday beats by dre black friday canada goose cyber monday michael kors black Friday beats by dre cyber Monday michael kors black friday gucci black friday uggs black Friday north face cyber Monday uggs cyber monday uggs black Friday beats by dre black friday michael kors cyber monday north face cyber monday Montblanc cyber monday Miumiu cyber Monday beats by dre black Friday michael kors cyber Monday uggs cyber Monday Mulberry cyber monday lululemon cyber monday polo black friday Uggs black friday Designer handbags black friday lululemon cyber monday beats by dre black Friday uggs cyber monday beats by dre cyber Monday kate spade black friday beats by dre black Friday sale lululemon cyber monday north face black friday michael kors black Friday beats by dre black Friday north face cyber Monday louis vuitton outlet bred 13s hollister black friday north face cyber Monday uggs black Friday beats by dre black Friday louis vuitton outlet coach outlet online beats by dre black Friday jordan 11 legend blue beats by dre black Friday beats by dre cyber monday jordan black friday uggs cyber monday kate spade black friday hollister black friday lululemon cyber monday hollister cyber monday kate spade black friday beats by dre black Friday uggs black Friday Abercrombie And Fitch black friday uggs black Friday louis vuitton outlet black infrared 6s beats by dre black Friday jordan 6 black infrared jordan 11 legend blue kate spade cyber monday uggs cyber monday beats by dre cyber monday jordan cyber monday jordan cyber monday victoria secret cyber monday gucci black friday hollister cyber monday north face black friday uggs cyber monday