February 7, 2009 - Click here for "Oral health - What's behind your mouth," a slide show from the Mayo Clinic explaining the importance of oral health as it relates to the following diseases and conditions.
Cardiovascular Disease - Research shows that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to oral health.
Premature Birth - Gum disease has been linked to premature birth. This is why it is vital to have excellent oral health before and during pregnancy.
Diabetes - Diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, dry mouth and oral infections. Infections may cause your blood sugar to rise and require more insulin to keep it under control.
HIV/AIDS - Oral problems are very common if you have HIV/AIDS. Common symptoms include ulcers, dry mouth and related painful mucosal lesions. Mouth problems are caused by fungal, viral or bacterial infections and, in some cases, one of the first signs of AIDS may be severe gum infection. You may also develop persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth.
Osteoporosis - Your dentist may identify the first stages of bone loss in your teeth. Systemic loss of bone density in osteoporosis, including bone in the jaw, may create a condition where the bone supporting your teeth is destroyed by infection.
Other conditions - The first sign of Sjogren's syndrome, certain cancers, eating disorders, syphilis, gonorrhea and substance abuse may develop in your mouth. For further information about linkages between oral health and general health in the United States, visit this report by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.