The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

blonde woman in dental chair to improve oral and overall health

As dental professionals, we always tell our patients to make sure to visit us every six months and to keep up good dental hygiene habits at home. But we never really tell you why, do we? You’re probably wondering why taking such good care of your teeth is so vital – they’re just teeth, after all. But the health of your mouth is actually closely linked to your body’s health, so taking care of your teeth is an essential part of taking care of yourself.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. So if you don’t take care of it, you risk letting in all sorts of bacteria that can cause health problems. Leftover food particles, decay, and other infections can all cause problems that extend further than your mouth. Protect your mouth and body by keeping up with regular brushing and flossing.

Heart Disease & Stroke

Studies have shown links between mouth health and heart health. Gum disease, in particular, is often linked to poor heart health and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. This may be because early warning signs can be seen in the mouth, and if they’re ignored, your risk for problems goes up. Tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss can all be early indicators of cardiac issues, so make sure you visit your dentist regularly so they can keep on eye on your mouth health.

As far as strokes go, it’s easier than you think for bacteria to enter your bloodstream through your mouth. Infection or decay deep within your tooth can make its way through the root system and into your bloodstream without you ever knowing it! Aside from some level of gum disease, which you may not even notice, you may show no symptoms leading up to a stroke.


Did you know that dry mouth could be an early warning sign of diabetes? If you’re experiencing chronic dry mouth, let your dentist know. Our team can take a closer look to see if there’s an oral issue going on or perhaps something more extensive.

Benefits of Preventive Care

We don’t say all of this to scare you! As your dentist, we just want to help you maintain a healthy mouth and body as best we can. Preventive care like regular exams and cleanings allow us to clean the plaque and bacteria off of your teeth and to keep an eye out for signs of more serious problems like decay or gum disease. If we notice problems, we can intervene early to try to reverse the effects with conservative treatment.

The Overland Park Family Dental loves helping patients get and maintain optimal oral health. You can schedule an appointment with us online or by calling. Let us care for your smile for a lifetime!

Schedule an Appointment