Most of us have heard stories about the way poor oral health can lead to a variety of medical conditions, some of them serious. However, some still have doubts about the seriousness of the oral-systemic link.

In June of this year, the Mayo Clinic put many people’s doubts to rest when it published “Oral Health:  A Window to Your Overall Health.” This analysis concluded that poor oral health allows harmful bacteria in your mouth to enter other parts of the body—and that can put you at risk of developing several diseases:

“Like other areas of the body, your mouth teems with bacteria — mostly harmless. But your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease. Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.”

Researchers continue to discover medical problems associated with poor oral health. Earlier this year, for example, scientists at Queen’s University Belfast found that poor oral health practices increased the likelihood of developing liver cancer by 75%. Those researchers also found evidence that poor oral health can lead to other forms of cancer, including cancer of the colon, rectum, and pancreas.

Although that study was rigorous (involving, for example, more than 469,000 people throughout the UK) and conclusive in finding this linkage, researchers could not with certainty demonstrate the specific biological mechanisms which linked poor oral health and liver cancer. They theorize, however, that, because the liver’s role is to remove bacteria from the body, and because poor oral health creates a substantial increase in the number of bacteria, the liver must work harder to remove them. Over time, this weakens the liver and increases the probability of liver problems, like cancer.

Want to be sure your oral wellness is in excellent condition? Schedule an appointment at Rolling Hills Dental (865) 983-4444 or Click this link to BOOK AN APPOINTMENT TODAY.

Dr. Marty W. Lindahl of Knoxville, TN is a general, cosmetic, and restorative dentist who provides a variety of services to patients who are interested in enhancing the appearance of their smiles while improving their oral health and wellness. At Rolling Hills Dental, our team of dental professionals are here for you if you want to find out more about your options for restoring tooth loss. Call us today at (865) 983-4444 or visit us at 2625 Old Niles Ferry Rd.

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