Television’s health champion, Dr. Oz, has made startling references to what’s known as the Oral Systemic Link. This link illuminates how the condition of your teeth and gums can affect your overall health. In fact, the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health has an intense focus of the Oral Systemic Link, and getting the word out dentistry is more involved in the medical field than ever before. How so?
The toxic effects of oral bacterial infections don’t necessarily remain localized. Those toxins can hitch rides and possibly inflict mayhem on other parts of your body.
Traveling Toxins—Why You Should Care
Affecting more than the permanence of your teeth or the smells of your breath, some studies strongly indicate that traveling oral bacteria may be linked to:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Pulmonary disease
- Kidney disease
- Impaired fetal development
- Orthopedic implant failure
Transportation is Not an Issue
Routine brushing and flossing helps curb destructive bacteria from growing without restraint. Being negligent with this allows bacteria to overpower the natural defense system our gums provide. Without protective healthy tissue acting as barrier, we’re facing a bacterial jailbreak. Suspected escape routes are:
- Surfing the Stream: Once oral bacterium have permeated your gum tissue they are free to catch a ride through your circulatory system. Their arrival in other tissue and organ systems can trigger infections. If you have a pre-existing inclination towards cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes or other diseases with inflammatory origins, you risk aggravating them.
- The Aquatic-Aerial Routine: A mouth overloaded with bacteria naturally results in saliva laced with toxins. With each inhalation, you risk aspirating bacteria laden water droplets into your lungs, potentially causing pulmonary infections and pneumonia. The elderly or those suffering from weakened immune systems (associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can find this especially worrisome.
Your patients may not be aware the dangers of poor oral health. Share with them this information and emphasize the importance of brushing and flossing!