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January 15, 2021

Six Ways Oral Health Is Linked to Overall Health

Six Ways Oral Health Is Linked to Overall Health

With life currently pulling everyone in different directions, it can feel like a lot to take care of your own health first, but a great smile says more about you than you know. With everything going on, it’s still important to take the time to manage your own essential healthcare.


Oral healthcare is another factor in your overall health and it’s important to manage it. In fact, poor oral health is a key contributor to many chronic diseases and conditions including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, oral cancer and more.  Your own primary care provider will tell you at your annual physical that it’s important to see your dentist on a regular basis. Periodontal disease or gum disease affects 47% of adults over the age of 45, with the risk increasing over time. This is a common, but preventable, issue which can actually impact different parts of your overall health

      1. Brain: Certain oral bacteria can travel to the brain, creating enzymes that can lead to memory loss, and eventually, Alzheimer’s. Ongoing management and treatment of gum disease is vital.
      2. Heart: Bacteria that infects the gums may cause blood vessel inflammation and damage leading to blood clots, heart attack or stroke.
      3. Cancer: Clinical studies show that certain oral bacteria may influence the onset of certain cancers including: esophageal, pancreatic, colorectal, and others.
      4. Diabetes: Serious gum disease can cause blood sugar to rise, which can be a significant complication for someone with diabetes. Those living with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. In fact, nearly 95% of diabetics have gum disease.
      5. Oral Cancer: Approximately 53,000 adults in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer annually. Your dentist will check your mouth for early signs of oral cancer at every appointment. Early diagnosis and treatment can be lifesaving.
      6. Sleep: Left unmanaged, sleep apnea can lead to tooth decay, plaque, sores, gum inflammation and disease. If you suspect you may have a sleep disorder ), be sure to check in with your PCP.

Your oral health is more important than you think. Your dentist is available to help you improve your oral health as an integral step towards improved overall health. For more information or to make an appointment, you can visit


Westmed Medical Group and ProHealth Dental are working together under a clinical affiliation agreement. As with the other clinical affiliations, Westmed and ProHEALTH Dental remain separate legal entities that are solely responsible for the care of their patients.