Mouth/Body Connection

Kennedy Dental values oral health. We consistently deliver exceptional care and educate patients to their overall wellness as it relates to their mouth and body connection.
Download a printable version of this page.

Heart Disease Mouth bacteria enter the blood stream, attaching to the fatty plaques in the heart blood vessels.  This thickens the walls of the heart vessels leading to a restriction of normal blood flow, thus reducing nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function properly. This may lead to heart attacks.
Stroke If blood pressure increases due to plaque build-up and fatty bacterial are dislodged, this will plug up blood vessels and a stroke can occur. This blockage can affect any area of the brain where vessels provide blood. If blood flow ( which contains oxygen and nutrients) is stopped, the result is an acute cerebrovascular ischemia or stroke.
Osteoporosis There is a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. Osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss because it decreases the density of the jawbone which supports the teeth. People suffering from osteoporosis may be on Bisphosphonates (also known as bone sparing drugs), and these medications cause problems if the mouth experiences tooth loss. A condition known as osteonecrosis of the jaw can result if a patient is on Bisphosphonates and loses teeth to periodontal disease. Osteonecrosis causes severe and irreversible damage to the jaw.
Diabetes People with diabetes are susceptible to contracting infections, and periodontal disease (gum infections) can destroy the jawbone and the supporting structures of the teeth.  In fact, periodontal disease is often considered to be the 6th complication of diabetes.  New research also shows severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugars and can make diabetes more difficult to manage.
Respiratory
Disease
Bacterial respiratory infections are thought to be acquired through aspiration (inhaling) of fine droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs. Periodontal disease provides the colonies of these pathologic bacteria. These bacterial populations can cause infections or worsen existing lung conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pneumonia.
Pregnancy
Problems
Periodontal disease is now considered a risk factor in pregnancy. Along with smoking, alcohol use and drug use, pregnant women are at significant risk for having premature and low-birth weight babies.
Researchers believe that periodontal disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor. As a result, doctors want pregnant individuals to have stable oral health all the way through pregnancy.