How many times have you been to the dentist filling out forms that contain a host of information related to your general health? Probably a fair amount. Have you ever stopped to think, waitÖ why am I filling out information to do with my general health at the dentist?
The Well Documented Mouth-Body Connection
There are many reasons why this occurs, but the main reason is to help the dentist better understand the fragile relationship that exists between your mouth and the rest of your body. This is known as the mouth-body connection and for holistic dentists, itís very important to keep this information in mind as we recommend certain dental treatments.
The bottom-line is this; there have many studies that have continuously shown how poor oral health can put your overall health at risk. Take horses for example. When horses contract a problem, the first place many doctorís look at is the horseís mouth. The mouth can reveal an array of issues that may be responsible for the issues experienced by the horse.
Does this same relationship exist for humans? Absolutely. Mercury is one example. I have had people come from around the world with ailments Ė mostly autoimmune disorders Ė that have not responded to treatment very well. This forces them to look for other possible causes. When I find mercury fillings in their mouth, the issue becomes a lot clearer. While we canít directly say their mercury fillings were the cause, itís still a piece of the puzzle that should be addressed to prevent any further damage from occurring and to promote healing.
Links Studies Have Found
Researchers over the years have found links between certain ailments and oral health.
A link between gum disease and heart disease exists. The link is still not fully understood, but researchers have noted roughly 90% of those with heart disease have advanced gum disease.
Gum disease has also been linked to premature birth, weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis), and respiratory conditions such as emphysema and pneumonia.
In diabetic patients, poor oral care may result in difficulty to control blood sugar levels, which makes gum disease also harder to manage.
The Key Takeaway
The key here is to understand this relationship does exist. Once that occurs, you are more likely to take your oral health more seriously, which would result in better oral health AND overall health.