Healthy mouth, healthy body…

Healthy mouth, healthy body…the link between them may surprise you!

The condition of your mouth is closely tied to your overall health. Research shows how poor oral health is linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more.

Taking care of your teeth isn’t just about having a nice smile and pleasant breath. The recent research has found a number of links between certain diseases. While in many cases, the nature of this link still isn’t clear — researchers have yet to conclude whether the connections are causal or correlative. What is certain is that the condition of your mouth is closely tied to your overall physical health.

Doctors have known for years that type 2 diabetics have an increased incidence of periodontitis, (severe form of gum disease). In 2008 the connection was further highlighted: Researchers at Columbia University’s School of Public Health followed 9,296 non-diabetic participants, measuring their level of periodontic bacteria over the course of 20 years. What they found was astonishing!  Those people who had higher levels of periodontal disease had a twofold risk of developing diabetes over that time period, compared to people with low levels or no gum disease. More research is needed before doctors can conclude that gum disease actually leads to diabetes, but, there are already a few theories about why this might be the case: Scientists at the Mayo Clinic propose that when infections in your mouth get bad enough, they can lead to low-grade inflammation throughout your body, which in turn wreaks havoc on your sugar-processing abilities. There are all kinds of “inflammatory molecules,” and it’s believed that some attach to insulin receptors and prevent the body’s cells from using the insulin to get glucose into the cell. It’s the perfect set-up for diabetes. At Hughes Dental Group, we strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on  preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth, gums and general oral health. We are conveniently-located to Sun City – so if you are new to our area and need a new dentist or one with a more modern practice give us a call. If you hail from Indiana, where I practiced for over 30 years… stop in a say “Hi” – I would love to meet you!