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3 Illnesses With Surprising Connections To Your Oral Health

Oral health and general health are closely interconnected, and your mouth can give your dentist a surprising amount of information about the health of your body. Our dentists in Portland, OR know that inflammations like gum disease that start in your mouth may travel to the rest of the body, but the reverse is also true; what happens in your body often shows up as symptoms in your mouth. Believe it or not, your dentist may be the first health professional who identifies symptoms of disorders like diabetes or heart disease.

Respiratory Infections

Periodontal disease is a threat to your body and your oral health. Already linked to numerous other systemic disorders, researches have found that the risk of COPD is higher in patients who have gum disease. When your oral health is poor, you are continuously inhaling bacteria from your mouth into your lungs, which can lead to respiratory infections and inflammation of the lungs.

Heart Disease

If you have gum disease, you are at twice the risk for coronary artery disease. Research has found that inflammation in the mouth can increase inflammation in the blood vessels, raising blood pressure, and increasing your risk for heart attack. Among patients with heart disease, research indicates that as many as 91percent of them also suffer from gum disease.  


High blood sugar increases bacteria in your mouth, which in turn increases your risk for gum disease. At the same time, patients with gum disease are at increased risk of developing diabetes. However, reducing gum disease can improve diabetes symptoms.

Your Dentist Is Part of Your Healthcare Team

Because most people don’t go to their doctor when they think they’re healthy, their dentist in Portland, OR is often the first health professional to see signs of bodily disease reflected in the mouth. If you’re due for your next dental exam and cleaning, please call Roots Dental and speak to a helpful member of our team to schedule a dental appointment.