The Wisdom Tooth

Mind, Body, Mouth: it’s all connected

Dental Health Week - Mind Body Mouth Connected class=

For dental health week this year, the focus is on “how is the mind, body and mouth all connected.” The health of the mouth influences the rest of the body with a range of medical conditions affected by, or affecting, oral health.

Almost half of the Australian population has one or more chronic diseases and yet 70% of people are not aware of the link between their oral health and chronic medical conditions.

What diseases of the mouth affect the body and mind?

Oral disease and general health

Oral diseases are connected to:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Heart disease
  • Gut issues
  • Lung conditions
  • Alzheimer’s Disease

Oral and general health diseases with strong evidence of association

oral health and heart disease and diabetes

Heart Disease & Diabetes

(Body and Mouth) There is a particularly strong link between severe gum disease and conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Bacteria from severe gum disease can spread through the bloodstream contributing to build up within arteries and other blood vessels. Severe gum disease is now considered to be the 6th issue with diabetes. It makes controlling diabetes harder and diabetes will make gum disease worse.

Oral and general health diseases with growing evidence of association

oral disease pregnancy lung issues and mental health

Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

(Body and Mouth) Bacterial changes from gum disease can spread to the placenta leading to possible preterm delivery, pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) or low birth weight.

Aspiration Pneumonia

(Body and Mouth) Bacteria from the mouth in patients who cannot swallow easily has been inhaled leading to disease in the lungs.

Alzheimer’s Disease

(Body and Mind) Bacteria from severe gum disease has been found in brain plaques that have led to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and decline in memory.

Oral and general health diseases with early evidence of association

oral health and lung problems and gut issues

Gut Disease

(Body and Mouth) There is early evidence showing that both diseases make one another worse due to increasing the body’s total inflammation and bacteria from the mouth can travel to the gut that can worsen any gut issues.

Lung conditions including COVID-19

(Body and Mouth) Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs, with the bad bacteria from gum disease leading to worsened conditions in the lung.

It is clear to see how great an impact oral health has on the body’s overall health.

Prioritising good oral hygiene helps improve not only the health of your mouth but reduces the effects disease within the mouth may have on other chronic conditions.

To maintain good oral health, we encourage everyone to do the following:

Four key steps for good oral health

  • Brush teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between your teeth every day using floss or interdental brushes.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar intake
  • Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventative care.
4 steps to good oral health


This information was obtained from the ADA Dental Health Week Website

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By The Wisdom Tooth 7 August 2023

Between causing bouts of discomfort on unwary mouths and hiding in dark corners, the wisdom tooth shares snippets of wisdom from the field of dentistry. the world smiles with you

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