Chronic Diseases & Oral Health

You are not healthy without good oral health. Research has shown that your oral health is directly related to the health of your entire body. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart and lung disease, stroke and low birthweight or premature births put you at risk for oral health infections. Infections that happen in the mouth can lead to infections in other parts of the body.

Did you know that cavities and periodontal disease are the most common chronic diseases today? Cavities are actually the most common chronic disease in children; more common than asthma and hay fever. And the most common reason adults lose their teeth as they get older is due to untreated periodontal disease. So many adults have lost all of their teeth due to untreated oral health diseases. Most problems related to oral health are completely preventable. Meaning, you can stop these diseases from happening completely, as long as you take care of your teeth.

So, how can you lower your risk of poor oral health outcomes?

Pay attention to what you are eating. Coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers and obesity can increase your risk of poor oral health outcomes. It’s important to eat a balanced meal that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein. Eating foods that contain a lot of sugars can cause cavities and hurt your overall health. For more information on the importance of nutrition and oral health, please visit our Nutrition and Oral Health page.

Put down the tobacco products (e-cigarettes included). Tobacco products put you at risk for oral and other cancers. Also, smoking can lead to tooth loss. Put down the tobacco products to save your oral health. If you need help quitting, visit our Smoking and Oral Health page.

Have a fear of visiting the dentist? Talk to your friends and family about a dentist they recommend. Once you find a dentist you like, talk to them about your concerns and fears. Dentists can walk you through each step of treatment and answer any questions you might have. If you are still hesitant to visit the dentist, bring a friend or family member for support. It might also help to have an agreed upon signal between you and your dentist when you need to take a break during a treatment.

Do you have diabetes?

It’s important to take care of your oral health as well as your diabetes during this time. If you have questions about diabetes and COVID-19, click the link below.