Oral Health and the Body:
How a Healthy Mouth
Affects Your Overall
B L O G | S U N R I S E D E N T I S T R Y
You know that old saying, “Put your
money where your mouth is?" In
dentistry, that isn’t just a saying.
There really is an oral and systemic
health connection. Most people, when
they go to the dentist, expect that they
are just there for cleanings, exams,
and other oral care.
This is not necessarily the case. Your
regular dental exams can also be a
screening for your overall health.
You might be saying, “What? How is
that possible?” or “How does oral
health impact general health?” It has
to do with systemic (meaning
affecting the whole body or multiple
organs — your entire “system,”
basically) issues of the body.
What this means is your mouth can
tell us about issues that may be
affecting other parts of your body.
Let’s take inflammation as an example.
When a dentist is examining you and
they see inflamed gums, they know it
could be an indicator of inflammation
somewhere else in the body.
Inflammation is an indicator that
something is not right somewhere.
You should know that chronic
inflammation in the body can
eventually lead to a variety of serious
issues, including heart disease,
cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, just
to name a few. There are many
inflammatory diseases that we
characterized by inflammation as a
Some of these include Crohn’s
disease, inflammatory bowel disease,
asthma, hepatitis, celiac disease, and
autoimmune diseases such as
rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis,
Lyme disease, and lupus.
This is one of the reasons we take a
health history in our dental office.
Your health history can alert us to
medical conditions or medications
that can affect your dental health.
We covered the process of
inflamed gums moving into gum
disease in a recent video on
Remember that when periodontal
pockets become deeper, the
bacteria works its way deeper into
the gums, and this bacteria can
make its way into other