Most people don’t realize dental health impacts overall health.
Caring for your teeth doesn’t just provide you with a great smile, white teeth, and fresh breath. Caring for your teeth also means you’re protecting your heart, your lungs, and your overall health. It’s all part of the oral-systemic connection. More and more research has emerged over the last 20 years to support the link between oral health and overall health. The Dental Medical Convergence is on a mission to share this important health information with patients, dentists, and doctors.
A study by BaleDoneen proved that oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body. This is known as the oral-systemic connection. The mouth is full of bacteria – some good and some bad. The mouth is also the main gateway to the respiratory and digestive systems. If some of the bad bacteria spreads to these systems, it can make you sick. Properly cleaning your teeth and gums is the best way to prevent illness.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of discussion or education about the link between oral infections and illnesses. Rarely do you hear a doctor ask about your dental health. The founder of The Dental Medical Convergence, Dr. Chuck Reinertsen, believes doctors and dentists should communicate about their shared patients.
“Sometimes the answer is right under your nose,” Dr. Chuck says. The source of illnesses could be bacteria in your mouth. The tricky part is that many dental infections have no pain. You might get seriously ill and have no idea it started with an infection in your mouth. “We don’t want to just treat symptoms – we want to find the source,” Dr. Chuck explains.
The BaleDoneen study showed oral bacteria entering the bloodstream and spreading throughout the body. According to the study, these germs – the same ones that can cause gum disease – can spread quickly throughout the body and cause chronic inflammation. This can lead to heart disease and diabetes as well as some forms of cancer.
This knowledge that poor oral hygiene can lead to serious health complications is why The Dental Medical Convergence is on a mission to educate patients, families, dentists, and doctors about the importance of opening the communication lines when it comes to oral health. We believe it’s time for doctors to ask patients about their dental health and even reach out to their dentists directly to learn what’s going on inside their patient’s mouth. We can figure out the root cause of a health condition if we ask the right questions. This can lead to better treatment and prevention.