Should I talk to my doctor about my oral health?

While your dentist is your primary oral healthcare provider, there are certain dental issues your medical doctor needs to be aware of. Gum disease can increase the risk of premature birth in pregnant women and has been linked to cardiovascular problems. Diabetes can put you at higher risk for gum disease, and diabetics with gum disease may have a harder time controlling their diabetes. If you have any of these conditions and have been diagnosed with gingivitis or periodontitis, let your medical doctor know so he or she can evaluate how best to care for you. Likewise, your dentist needs to know if you have diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, or cancer. All of these conditions can affect your dental care.

Periodontal diseases are serious infections of the mouth that, if not treated, can cause problems elsewhere in the body and affect your overall health. So talking with your doctor about your oral health is important. This is especially true if you have certain conditions that may make you more susceptible to periodontal disease, such as type 1 diabetes, Down syndrome, Kindler syndrome, and Papillon-Lefevre syndrome.

Over time, untreated periodontitis may increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Several studies have shown an association between periodontal diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Absolutely! Your dentist can provide you with information for improving your oral health and maintaining a good oral health routine. Your dentist can also answer any questions. Through regular exams your dentist will know you and your mouth and best be able to provide you with a plan for staying mouth healthy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.