Oral Care & Overall Health

Written by Staci Whitman, D.M.D.

What does your mouth have to do with your overall health? Turns out, quite a lot. Many chronic health conditions can be linked back to the mouth, and you can see signs of other issues starting out in your teeth and gums. Caring for your teeth, gums, and tongue can prevent bacterial imbalance and gum disease, conditions which can affect the rest of your body.

Let’s examine some issues that show up in the mouth:

  • An unbalanced microbiome. Bad bacteria running wild can cause a host of issues. The balance of bacteria in your mouth (and gut) is a key factor in protecting against tooth decay and gum issues.
  • The gum pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis has been tied to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and a growing link between this condition and oral health is being discovered.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can manifest in gum disease.
  • Diabetes. This insulin-related condition can affect the body’s ability to fight off infections, leading to a higher likelihood of severe gum disease.
  • Cavities happen, sometimes for even the most health conscious people. A cavity is the result of demineralization of the tooth. So naturally you’ll want to counteract this (remineralize the tooth) to “heal” the tooth and hopefully eliminate the need for a traditional filling. The key is to catch the cavity EARLY, by going to the dentist regularly and keeping a few helpful tips in mind…
    • Eat a colorful, nutrient-dense diet of mostly whole foods. 🌈
    • Add hydroxyapatite products to your oral care routine. 👍
    • Floss, floss, floss! 😁
    • Ensure you are breathing through your nose during the day and at night.

We often think of oral health as completely separate from our doctor’s appointments and other preventative health care. However, the body and the mouth are tied in more ways than many people realize. Left unchecked, oral conditions may become larger infections, and dental issues may be clues to bigger problems. This is just one more reason to never skip your 6-month appointments and to practice preventative oral care along with diet and airway health!