Preventive Dentistry |2 min read

Oral Systemic Health: Brush a Tooth, Save a Heart

Oral Systemic Health (the link illuminating how the condition of your teeth and gums can affect your overall health) has been a familiar concept among dentistry, and Dr. Steve Gorman is one of the few dentists who has established this oral-systemic health connection. As a leading dentist in Minneapolis, Dr. Gorman is one of the founding members of the American Academy For Oral Systemic Health, a network of dedicated health care leaders working to change professional and public behaviors and address the importance of oral health as it relates to whole-body health.


Your mouth is the gateway to the entire body, and when your mouth experiences inflammation (bleeding gums and periodontal disease), the toxic effects of oral bacterial infections don’t necessarily remain localized. Those toxins can hitch rides and possibly inflict mayhem on other parts of your body.

Traveling Toxins—Why You Should Care

Affecting more than the permanence of your teeth or the smell of your breath, some studies strongly indicate that traveling oral bacteria may be linked to:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Impaired fetal development
  • Orthopedic implant failure

Transportation is Not an Issue

Routine brushing and flossing helps curb destructive bacteria from growing without restraint. Being negligent with this allows bacteria to overpower the natural defense system our gums provide. Without protective healthy tissue acting as a barrier, we’re facing a bacterial jailbreak. Suspected escape routes are:

Surfing the Stream: Once oral bacterium have permeated your gum tissue they are free to catch a ride through your circulatory system. Their arrival in other tissue and organ systems can trigger infections. If you have a pre-existing inclination towards cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes or other diseases with inflammatory origins, you risk aggravating them.

The Aquatic-Aerial Routine: A mouth overloaded with bacteria naturally results in saliva laced with toxins. With each inhalation, you risk aspirating bacteria-laden water droplets into your lungs, potentially causing pulmonary infections and pneumonia. The elderly or those suffering from weakened immune systems (associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can find this especially worrisome.

A smile kept healthy bodes well for the body as a whole. So maintain your mouth—your body is counting on you!

If you can think of someone predisposed to systemic diseases or a medical condition, share this blog with them. Taking care of your smile is more important than ever before. Please contact us today to schedule your comprehensive exam with Dr. Gorman.

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