Oral & General Health – Bible Hill Family Dentistry

Oral & General Health

ORAL AND GENERAL HEALTH

WHAT IS ORAL AND GENERAL HEALTH?

Oral health: is multi-faceted and includes the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, etc. that convey a range of activities without pain, discomfort, disease or craniofacial complex.     

General health: is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Today, the medical and dental communities are working together to find the connection between oral health and general conditions, also try to prevent or minimize risk factors that could endanger well-being.

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ORAL AND GENERAL HEALTH?

The relationship between oral health and general health has been the focus of research interests for decades.  

The World Oral Health Report 2003, stated that the relationship between oral health and general health is proven by evidence, they are related in four ways:

  • Poor oral health is significantly related to major chronic disease.
  • Oral health and major diseases or conditions share most of the risk factors.
  • General health problems may worsen oral conditions
  • Poor oral health can cause disability.

Some diseases of the body have early oral manifestations. Routine dental checkups can prevent or diagnose some general conditions at an early stage. Among the medical conditions we have:

  • HPV (Human Papilloma Virus): It has been linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
  • Pancreatic Cancer: Gum disease is liked to a person’s increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Chicken pox
  • HIV/AIDS: Presence of Kaposi Sarcoma and leukoplakia.
  • Autoimmune conditions: Lichen planus and Pemphigus have oral manifestations.
  • Heart disease: Gum disease bacteria may cause heart disease or stroke.
  • Diabetes: People with gum disease who also have diabetes experience excessive bone loss and healing is delayed.
  • Fanconi anemia: Can increase periodontal disease and dental abnormalities.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF ORAL DISEASE AND GENERAL HEALTH CONDITIONS?

Oral disease is the most common chronic disease. The common risk factors that oral disease shares with other general conditions are:

  • Diet: It’s a risk factor for tooth decay, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and obesity.
  • Smoking habit: Risk factor for oral cancer, respiratory diseases, heart disease, stroke.
  • Alcohol consumption: Risk factor for liver disease, and oral cancer.
  • Stress: Risk factor for gum disease
  • Hygiene: Gum disease, and bacteria in bloodstream
  • Socio-economic status
  • Injuries

WHAT SHOULD I TELL MY DENTIST BEFORE ANY PROCEDURE?

You must tell your dental professional all about your dental and systemic medical history, especially if you have or had a general condition or are taking medications:

  • If you are taking Bisphosphonates: It is necessary to keep your mouth healthy in order to prevent osteonecrosis of the jaw bone.
  • Cancer: All procedures should be done before chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Pregnancy: It is necessary to treat any problem in the oral cavity on the second trimester of pregnancy.