During a recent interview with our friends at Good Day Columbus, Dr. Kulesa explains how your oral health is a direct link to your overall health. According to Dr. Kulesa, “you cannot disconnect your head from the rest of the body – it’s a wonderful indicator of what is happening throughout the rest of the body.”
Preventing oral health problems like gingivitis and periodontitis can go a long way toward decreasing the risk for more serious health problems throughout the entire body.
Cardiovascular Disease – There have been many studies to determine whether there is a causative relationship between gum disease and heart disease, meaning that having one increases your risk of having the other. Although there is no definitive answer yet, most researchers do agree that they are, in fact, related in some way. Many patients who suffer from heart disease also have gum disease. So it is important to do our best to prevent the progression of gum disease in those patients at risk for heart disease or those with the disease.
Diabetes– According to the CDC over 100 million Americans have diabetes, that is 9% of our population! As a dentist, we often see the effects of diabetes in the oral cavity, even before the patient receives the diagnosis. We find that they have increased inflammation (swelling) of the gums and advanced gum disease in many cases. Uncontrolled diabetics have a high risk of tooth loss due to gum disease, so it is important to see your dentist regularly so that they can screen you for gum disease!
Pregnancy– Expectant mothers should practice good oral hygiene. Pregnancy hormones can cause all sorts of changes in the body and can lead to gingivitis. In addition, a recent study went so far as to link moms’ oral health with premature and low birth weight babies.
Cancer – Poor oral health practices, such as smoking or using other tobacco products can lead to oral and throat cancers. In addition, the risk for kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers is higher for people who have poor oral health.
Prevention– The best way to prevent serious oral disease, which can lead to serious health issues is to practice good oral hygiene, and schedule regular visits with your dentist. All patients should be seen a minimum of two times per year, with some gum disease patients coming into the office four times per year, in order to maintain a healthy mouth.
- At home make sure to brush twice per day, and floss once per day
- Use toothpaste and mouthwash products that contain fluoride
- Eat a well-balanced diet for optimum nutrition
To see Dr. Kulesa’s full interview, follow the link below: