Does Poor Oral Hygiene Lead to Poor Health?

Recent research further emphasizes that individuals with poor oral hygiene suffer from poor overall health. A new study from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, reveals that patients with undiagnosed poor oral health are just as at risk of negative long-term systemic health outcomes as patients experiencing periodontal or gum disease.

Oral and general health have historically been treated separately; however, the study’s findings reveal that the two are closely connected. Researchers analyzed commonly used self-reporting oral health questionnaires collected from the Women’s Health Study and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to identify connections between comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, and self-reported oral health problems.

The Women’s Health Study followed women ages 45 and older who self-reported information regarding oral health, gum disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease between 1992 and the present. The NHANES study focused on oral health data linked to mortality between 1999 and 2018. Data from both reveal that an increase in comorbidities correlates to a lack of dental visits and infrequent flossing.

Tufts researchers also examined whether access to oral care factors into overall health by asking whether participants had visited a dentist or dental hygienist in the past year and how often they obtained routine check-ups and cleanings. They found that 10 percent of the Women’s Health Study participants and 45 percent of the NHANES participants who had not visited a dentist within a year suffered poor oral and overall health.

Oral health problems should be addressed as soon as possible, regardless of which type of physician patients visit. Researchers stress that primary care physicians should question patients regarding their oral health and dental habits and reinforce that improving dental habits and regular dental check-ups may increase patients’ overall health in the long term.

They also stress the importance of spreading the topic to a wider cross-section of the population. Including dental health questions in more large-scale health studies paves the way for similar research in the future to find even more correlations between oral and overall health.

Why Should You Maintain Your Oral Health?

Maintaining your oral health is vital, whether attending regular exams or addressing chronic problems. Addressing oral health conditions quickly allows you and your physicians to confront and address other health problems you may be experiencing.

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is essential for maintaining your health. It addresses conditions negatively affecting your mouth, jaw, face, and skull, corrects facial deformities, and reconstructs facial trauma. It can transform your life.

Our South Jersey Oral Surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Help Patients Maintain Good Oral Health

If you are experiencing pain or problems in your mouth or jaw, contact our South Jersey oral surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Call us at 856-582-4222 or complete our online form to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Washington Township, Haddonfield, Woolwich Township, New Jersey, we serve patients throughout South Jersey.

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