For a long time, scientists have been studying how our oral health (mouth teeth and gums) is related to our general health. They have found that some diseases in our body can affect our mouth and vice versa. More recently they have been looking at how problems in our mouth can lead to other health issues in our body.

One of the big findings is that gum diseases, (periodontal diseases) may be connected to a bunch of other health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, dementia, breathing issues and even death. This seems to happen because there is some kind of inflammation (like swelling) that links the issues together.

Researchers have also looked at how having fewer teeth or bad cavities can affect our health, especially in older adults and in children. It looks like there is a correlation between not having enough teeth and some health problems, likely because of the effect on what we can eat in those situations.

While we don’t know for sure if poor oral health directly causes these other health problems, we do know that they share common risk factors. This means that the things that are making our mouth unhealthy are likely to be making the rest of our body unhealthy. So, it is essential to look after our oral health, particularly when we have other medical conditions.

In a collection of research articles, scientists have explored these connections and found some interesting results.

1. Dental Implants and living longer.

Some research indicates that older people who have lost teeth have a significantly higher mortality rate than people who have implant teeth.  Having implant teeth can mean you have a lower risk of dying from health complications.

2. Gum Disease and Diabetes.

Studies suggest that certain genes might play a role in how gum diseases relate to diabetes. It’s a good idea for diabetics to have their gums checked regularly.

There is evidence that Vitamin D can help with gum health, but this is still under research.

3. Cavities and Pregnancy/Child Health.

It’s advisable for pregnant women to have their teeth and gums checked to make sure they don’t have cavities or loose teeth, which can affect not only their health but the health of the baby.

Sometimes there is a link between cavities and obesity in children, but it’s not clear cut. What we eat and how our teeth feel can affect our weight.

This article covers a lot of aspects of how oral health and general health are connected. While we can’t say for sure that bad oral health directly causes general health problems, we do know that taking care of our mouths is essential for our overall well-being, so it’s essential to take care of both our general health and our oral health.