Oral-Systemic Health Frequently Asked Questions
What is "oral systemic health"?
Oral systemic health is the connection between oral health and overall health. Countless studies have demonstrated a link between poor oral health and systemic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and even pregnancy complications.
Where can I find healthcare providers in my area who understand oral-systemic health?
Use our Find an AAOSH Health Professional tool to search for oral systemic healthcare professionals in your area. Look for healthcare providers who take advantage of educational opportunities to be on the cutting edge of oral systemic healthcare and who incorporate these principles into their practice.
How much does it cost to treat gum disease?
Like most services, the cost of treating gum disease is based upon the time required and the difficulty of the procedures involved. Each person has unique and individualized problems which must be accounted for in determining a proper course of treatment. A proper evaluation will determine the extent of the disease and map out the best course for treatment along with its attendant costs. As usual, costs can be dramatically reduced and controlled by thorough and meticulous control of bacteria biofilms which will promote faster healing and better health maintenance.
Why should I go to an AAOSH dentist?
Dentists who are members of our academy show a special interest in the general health and well-being of their patients and how the health of the mouth affects their general health. They pay special attention to emerging science and newer technologies and procedures which reduce health risk factors and assure better health for their patients. AAOSH brings together allied health sciences and professionals and provides a wide variety of educational opportunities that help member dentists practice with the best clinical judgment and clinical skills possible. Together this promotes excellent care for their patients and encourages proper inter-disciplinary care when necessary.
I am worried that conditions in my mouth may be impacting my general health – what can I do?
It is good to be aware that problems in your mouth may be impacting your general health. If you are concerned that conditions in or around your mouth may be increasing health risk factors, you should consult with a dentist who is trained in oral-systemic healthcare.
Is gum disease the only oral health problem that is tied to the rest of the body?
No. There are other oral health conditions which have significant impact and consequence to the rest of the body and your general health. We know that gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pregnancy complications, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, etc. Other conditions include oral cancer, oral airway and sleep apnea, TMJ – headaches & migraines, dental decay, and biocompatibility of dental filling materials (in genetically susceptible individuals). These connections between the mouth and the body highlight the importance of good oral health and dental stability in assuring better general health.
Is bad breath a sign of gum disease?
In a word, yes! Bad breath, or halitosis, happens when bacteria and dead skin cells and other organic debris, decay and putrefy, producing sulfur compounds which give the characteristic bad breath smell. These bad-breath chemicals can cause breakdown of delicate gum tissues allowing bacteria and their toxins to enter the gum tissue easier as well as the body’s circulatory system. Chronic bad breath should always be viewed as a bad sign and a risk factor for tissue breakdown and disease. Generally, cosmetic attempts to mask it with standard mouth rinses fall short of what’s needed to cure bad breath and rid oneself of the bacteria which causes it.
What can I do at home to protect my oral health?
Periodontal disease and tooth decay are diseases of bacterial origin. Meticulous oral hygiene and using antibacterial rinses and solutions are steps you can and should take at home. By making good oral health a priority, you can be better assured of a health mouth and of lowered risk factors for developing other general health problems.