Healthy Smile, Happy Body: The Connection Between Oral Health and Total Wellness

Healthy Smile, Happy Body: The Connection Between Oral Health and Total Wellness


If you’ve ever been to the dentist, then you already know flossing and brushing your teeth regularly is essential to keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. It’ll also help you hold onto your natural teeth well into old age. Recently, lots of research has come out revealing a strong connection between good oral hygiene and overall, systemic health. It now seems that brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly will not only keep your smile bright and healthy, but also your whole body.

Correlation between Disease and Oral Health


A clear link exists between patients with periodontal (gum) disease or periodontitis (severe gum disease) and certain systemic conditions (diseases that affect the entire body or an entire system within the body), such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, endocarditis)
  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Diabetes
  • Complications with pregnancy and birth (low birth weight and premature birth)

What Is Periodontal Disease?


Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums, which can occur due to poor oral hygiene or other health concerns. Periodontitis is an advanced, severe form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease develops when plaque and tartar build up along the gum line. This buildup creates moist pockets in which harmful bacteria thrive, infecting the gums.

Patients who have periodontal disease often experience the following symptoms:

  • Their gums bleed after brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums or gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistently bad breath
  • Swollen, tender, or unusually red gums
  • Shifting bite or alignment of teeth

How Is Periodontal Disease Connected to Systemic Health?


Patients with the above-mentioned conditions are more likely to have periodontal disease. More research is needed to determine the exact connection between periodontal disease and systemic health problems. It’s not yet clear whether periodontal disease increases the risk of these conditions or if systemic illnesses make people more susceptible to periodontal disease.

Many doctors believe that the bacterial buildup and subsequent inflammation associated with periodontal disease is to blame. It’s possible for bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream and travel to different parts of the body. As a result, a bacterial infection of the gums can spread, causing inflammation and harming other organs.

Schedule a Cleaning and Exam Today


Regular check ups are essential to preventing and detecting periodontal disease early. Contact Cardinal Dental to schedule an appointment in La Mesa today.