In 2004, Time magazine featured “INFLAMMATION-The Secret Killer” which continues to be a proven link between Periodontal Disease in the mouth and a host of other diseases including heart attacks, cancer and alzheimer’s.
The mouth offers a window on the health of the entire body. As a dentist, I have been able to provide an early warning that an unhealthy condition was developing somewhere else in the body because the mouth does mirror these problems.
Undiagnosed and untreated tooth or gum disease in the mouth is an all too common source of or evidence of chronic inflammation elsewhere. So not only can the mouth indicate a developing health problem but it can be the source of bacterial, viral or fungal infection which can easily spread to other tissues, organs and other people. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, premature births, respiratory ailments and joint replacement infections are just a few of the serious conditions that have been tied to periodontal disease.
As we get older, the mouth doesn’t produce as much saliva coupled with some medicines which also tend to cause dry mouth. The net effect is a much higher risk of periodontal disease and tooth decay. This can be alleviated with flouride treatment and a variety of artificial saliva products.
A dentist and/or a hygienist can evaluate all of these factors and provide the most appropriate way to achieve the best oral and systemic health possible.