Products Info|Why isn’t dental health considered primary medical care?


Why isn’t dental health considered primary medical care?

Historically, dentistry and medicine were parallel: dentists looked after the mouth, doctors looked after the rest of the body.

This is beginning to change as many initiatives in the United States and other countries work to integrate oral and systemic care

to more effectively address diabetes,cardiovascular disease, joint replacements, and many other conditions.

The exact relationship between oral and dental health and physical ailments elsewhere in the body is unclear and,

in some cases, controversial, but experts agree the connection should no longer be ignored.

Sick mouth, sick body

The list of connections between oral health and systemic health (diseases that affect the entire body) is compelling.

First, three common dental problems—cavities, tooth loss, and periodontal disease—are linked to heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

“To me, the number one hidden risk factor for the number one killer in our country is oral health,”

said Ellie Campbell, a family physician in Cumming, Ga.,

and a board member of the American Academy of Oral System Health, which was founded in 2010 to improve people’s health.

Awareness of the relationship between oral health and systemic health.

Periodontal disease, the infection and inflammation of the gums and bone that support teeth, is the culprit.

Nearly half of adults aged 30 and older have periodontal disease; by age 65, this proportion climbs to about 70%.

In the early stages of gingivitis, the gums are swollen and may bleed. Periodontitis is a more serious condition in which the gums pull away from the teeth.


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