According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 adverse health conditions are linked to poor oral health.
From decades of public education aimed at youth and adults, you probably know that brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing daily, and attending six-month checkups and cleanings with a general dentist can go a long way toward preventing cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. We now know that these practices, because they support good oral health, also decrease our risk for a plethora of non-communicable, systemic diseases.
Practicing family and general dentistry, Dr. Thomas Wegner helps patients deter oral diseases through checkups, cleanings, and restorative dentistry. If you need a dental team who will make you feel respected and valued, while also helping you thwart disease, call Town & Country Dental in Oak Park, IL, today at 708-383-0330.
The WHO Resolution on Oral Health, 2021
In May of 2021, the 74th World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO)
approved a resolution on oral health. This resolution was born in light of the rampant global problem of oral diseases, including gum disease, dental caries (cavities), oral cancer, and tooth loss, and their negative impact on life.
One of the goals of this resolution that we address daily at Town & Country Dental is the application of prevention as a key component of providing excellent general dentistry to our patients. By preventing oral disease, and finding and treating it early, our patients can live healthier lives and reduce their risk of systemic diseases as they correlate to poor oral health.
Cavities and Gum Disease in the United States
Are poor oral health and lack of seeking professional dental care really a problem in the United States? Statistics tell the story:
- More than a quarter of adults have untreated tooth decay in America.
- The CDC says 37% of children 2 to 8 years old have tooth decay in primary teeth.
- About 58% of teens currently have or have experienced tooth decay.
- Thirty percent of kids ages 6 to 12 have missed school because of dental issues.
- 320.8 million hours of work and school are missed annually due to dental issues.
- About 40% of Americans 30 years of age and older have gum disease.
- Of adults over 75 years old, one-quarter have no teeth.
- Thirteen percent of those ages 65 to 74 have no teeth.
- 23 million Americans have no teeth, and 12 million have no teeth on one arch.
Oral-Systemic Health Risks
Tooth decay, called dental caries or dental disease, is a widespread issue, and the bad bacteria in tooth decay enter the body through the mouth. These bacteria weaken the immune system and increase the risk of heart disease. Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis worsen when a person has a high level of bad oral bacteria.
Because it is an infection, tooth decay spreads if it’s not treated. Once decay permeates the inner chamber of a tooth, it enters the bloodstream. If the infection reaches the brain, the infection can become fatal.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a condition caused by plaque and bacteria building up at and below the gum line. As the main cause of adult tooth loss, gum disease is a progressive, chronic condition. For patients with gum disease, the risk of these systemic health conditions increases:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Kidney disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Diabetes complications
- Low-weight birth
- Pre-term birth
- Alzheimer’s disease
- 49% higher risk of kidney cancer;
- 54% higher risk of pancreatic cancer
- 30% higher risk of blood cancer
Make General Dentistry a Priority
Town & Country Dental, located in Oak Park, IL, offers all facets of general dentistry for children, teens, and adults. Give us a call today at 708-383-0330 to schedule your consultation. Dr. Thomas Wegner will take time to discuss your health, lifestyle, and oral health concerns. He’ll conduct a comprehensive oral evaluation before recommending treatment. We welcome questions, so please never hesitate to ask! The more you know about your oral health, the more competent you’ll feel about treatment decisions.