Is It True That My Oral Health Affects My Overall Health?

woman with healthy thumb up smileGiven how dominant your smile is, you might realize that certain oral health issues can affect your image and appearance, which in turn can affect your confidence and quality of life. What fewer people realize, however, is that the state of your dental health can affect much more than how confidently you smile. For instance, inflammatory gum disease is caused by bacteria that manipulate your immune system, causing rampant inflammation in your gum tissues and possibly throughout other areas of your body.

The Ecology of Mouth Bacteria

Inside of a healthy human mouth, experts have classified over 600 different kinds of bacteria, each inhabiting a different area of the mouth, but most contributing to the formation of dental plaque. When certain of these germs gather on your gum line, they attack the tissues that connect your gums to your teeth, causing them to recede and create pockets for more germs to hide. The bacteria strain, Porphyromonas gingivalis, has been singled out as one of the main contributors to gum disease for its ability to incite unchecked, and severely damaging, inflammation. As they hide from your immune system, P. gingivalis germs can enter your bloodstream through diseased oral tissues, becoming a serious risk to your systemic health.

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Lives

The oral-systemic connection, which describes the relationship between your dental health and your overall wellbeing, explains what experts have long known—keeping your teeth and gums healthy has profound benefits beyond your oral health. Besides P. gingivalis infection and gum disease, issues like toothaches, tooth damage, tooth loss, and other dental health concerns have various and long-reaching impacts on your quality of life. If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited your dentist, we advise doing so as soon as possible, for more than just your smile’s sake.


For over 15 years, Dr. Michele Collier and the talented professionals at Waterstone Family Dentistry have provided comfortable, compassionate dental care to patients of all ages from Fuquay Varina, NC, as well as Holly Springs, Angier, Willow Springs, Raleigh, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Collier by calling (919) 557-5250 today.

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