Nonprofit educates people on oral health’s impact on overall health

Most people don’t know the surprising connection between the health of the mouth and the health of the body. Mounting research points to a correlation between poor oral health and diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetic complications, and dementia.

If these health problems could be prevented through proper oral care, then why aren’t more doctors and dentists talking about this important topic? That’s what Dr. Charles Reinertsen has been wondering for years. It’s why he founded The Dental Medical Convergence in 2021.

During his more than 40 years of working as a dentist in Tavares, Florida, Dr. Reinertsen – known affectionately as Dr. Chuck to his patients – has noticed a gap when it comes to oral health and overall health. His vision of working to bridge this gap and educate patients and doctors is finally a reality. Dr. Chuck is using the nonprofit to provide people with information he believes can be life-saving. He also hopes to open up the communication lines with doctors about the oral-systemic connection.

According to Dr. Chuck, very few, if any, doctors and dentists communicate about the significance of the dental link to overall health.

“After a certain age, doctors are quick to recommend a colonoscopy and check your ‘back door’ but rarely ask for an oral health report to check your mouth – your body’s front door,” Dr. Chuck said.

A dentist may diagnose a patient with gum disease, but that information isn’t passed along to the patient’s doctor. It should be, Dr. Chuck says. A patient who has gum disease may be at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease. This is a major concern because the Centers for Disease Control says heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans.

These are just a few reasons The Dental Medical Convergence is on a mission to educate people about the importance of oral health. Here’s how we’re working to help you and your family:

Educational resources available through The Dental Medical Convergence:

  • The Dental Medical Convergence has various educational tools for patients, dentists and doctors. This webpage provides peer-reviewed studies and medical articles.
  • Download this PDF guide to learn the “5 questions you should ask your dentist.” Print the worksheets included in the guide and bring them to your next dentist appointment. Then share your dentist’s answers with your primary care physician.
  • Follow us on Facebook.

Watch our series, “Ask Me Anything,” to find out Dr. Chuck’s answers to important health questions. You can submit your own question, too!

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