Medical Provider Resources
Dental Care is Medical Care
Both medical and dental professionals realize that certain health conditions may often be related other conditions or health habits. Oral health is a key component to maintaining overall health. When patients take an interest in their oral health, their physical and mental health often improve. Educating patients on the effects of poor oral health in medical practices can help bridge this gap in patient knowledge. When medical providers and dental providers partner to prevent poor oral health, everyone wins.
Medical Conditions Linked To Poor Oral Health
Endocarditis – An infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves (endocardium) typically occurring when bacteria or other germs from another part of the body, such as your mouth, spread through the bloodstream and attach to certain areas in the heart.
Cardiovascular disease - The connection is not fully understood, but some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke are linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
Pregnancy and birth complications - Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Pneumonia - Certain bacteria in the mouth can be pulled into the lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Health Conditions That Can Impact Oral Health
Diabetes - By reducing the body's resistance to infection, diabetes puts the gums at risk. Research shows that people who have gum disease find it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Gum disease also appears to be more frequent and more severe among people living with diabetes. Periodontal care can often improve diabetes control.
HIV/AIDS - Painful sores often appear in the mouth, which can lead to subpar or less often daily care, creating a vicious cycle of poor oral health.
Osteoporosis – Linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss due to bone-weakening. Also, certain drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to jaw bones.
Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias – Many persons often lack the capacity to care for their oral health while suffering from Alzheimer’s, especially in the later stages.
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Fluoride Remains A Powerful Tool To Prevent Tooth Decay
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Oral Health Campaign Toolkit
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Oral Health Practice Tools
- CDC: Children’s Oral Health
- Dental Integration Trainings for Medical Providers
- Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum