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What is your philosophy on how oral health relates to overall body health?

This is a topic many people don’t think about.  Whether you like it or not, your head and subsequently your mouth are connected to the rest of your body.  Some may even say it’s the most important part of your body since it has that brain thing.  So it stands to reason that oral health can also affect overall body health.

There has been lots of research on the link between periodontal disease and diabetes.  There is a strong correlation between people with diabetes and those with periodontal disease.  Many researchers believe that periodontal disease can hinder the control of diabetes and it can even be a sign that someone has diabetes.

Tooth decay can lead to infections, and bacteria can travel in the bloodstream to other parts of the body.  In the worst cases, bacteria from a dental infection can go to the brain and even lead to death.  There is some recent research that says treating gum disease may help reduce prostate inflammation.

Proper oral care is important for the elderly as well.  The major cause of death for elderly in nursing homes is pneumonia.  Scientists have found that certain pneumonias can be traced back to oral bacteria strains.

So next time you’re taking the time to brush and floss your teeth, be confident that you are not only maintaining your great smile but your entire body as well.

Dr. H

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