The Connection Between Oral Health and General Health

At FDA, we don’t just see your smile, we see you as a whole person. That’s because when it comes to improving your overall health, oral care is the gateway. Studies show that problems with your teeth and gums are linked with other health concerns like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This means that brushing and flossing daily is a practice that will benefit you beyond just keeping your teeth clean and healthy…it benefits your whole body! Your dentist – Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos – can be a part of your health care team and help you set up an oral health plan that takes your whole body’s well-being into account. Here is a deeper look at some of the ways your oral health and general health are connected.

Cardiovascular Disease

This term refers to a group of disorders related to your heart and your blood vessels. According to the Cleveland Clinic, having poor oral health is associated with forms of cardiovascular disease like:

  • Coronary artery disease: This is the most common type of heart disease and can lead to heart attack. It’s the leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Clogged arteries: Studies show that people with periodontal disease have significantly higher rates of atherosclerosis, or plaque build up inside the blood vessels that deliver blood and oxygen from your heart to your body.
  • Stroke: Studies show a correlation between periodontal disease and strokes, specifically strokes related to atherosclerosis.


Diabetes increases your risk of dental diseases. One place you may experience symptoms is in your mouth. Some of the most common oral symptoms include:

  • Dry mouth: People with diabetes often have less saliva in their mouth so you may find yourself being parched.
  • Gum disease: If you notice bleeding when you brush or floss, you may have gum disease. Research shows keeping your blood sugar under control can help improve gum disease.
  • Problems with taste: You may begin to notice that food tastes differently from the way you remember, particularly sweet foods. If you have a persistent bad taste in your mouth, please come see us.
  • Periodontal disease: Nearly 22% of all diabetics develop this dental disease. It is a chronic, inflammatory condition that can destroy your gums and bone, and can also lead to increased blood sugar levels. Early signs include bad breath, swollen gums, and painful chewing.

Your health is important to us and we are committed to giving you the best care possible. As part of your care, the FDA team of caring and compassionate professionals will ask about your health history, medications, as well as your needs and questions as we put together a treatment plan for you. Our goal is to build a partnership with you as we make sure your mouth is healthy and supporting your overall health needs. If you have questions or concerns about your oral health, or need to schedule your next appointment, please give us a call at 207.781.5900.