Test Your Knowledge on Oral Health's Impact on the Body

Did you know that your oral health has a direct impact on your heart? And your lungs? And your brain?

In fact, studies show more than 90% of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations. That means that your mouth can be a sign that something is off in the rest of your body. To help make the connection, we put together a few questions and answers that may surprise you.


Test your knowledge:

1. Tooth decay in your childhood CANNOT impact your HEART HEALTH as an adult.
Click to expand for answer:

FALSE. Researchers report that tooth decay and other oral infections in children can contribute directly to atherosclerosis in adulthood—a disease in which the inner wall of the arteries become clogged with plaque.

2. Untreated gum disease CAN impact:
a.  Risk of stroke
b.  Blood pressure
c.  Alzhiemer's
d.  Pregnancy
e.  All of the above
Click to expand for answer:

All of the above. People with gum disease are 3 times more likely to have a stroke involving blood vessels in the back of the brain. Patients with gum disease are less likely to keep their blood pressure under control with medication than are those with good oral health. Having 10 years of chronic gum disease (periodontitis) was associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Gum disease among pregnant women is associated with preterm births, low birthweight babies and preeclampsia.

3. Being on a ventilator does NOT affect your oral health. It just impacts your respiratory health.
Click to expand for answer:

FALSE. Patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) who engaged in regular tooth brushing spent significantly less time on mechanical ventilation than other VAP patients.

4. Your oral health and your weight are NOT related.
Click to expand for answer:

FALSE. Brushing teeth no more than once per day was linked with the development of obesity.


How did you do? Did you realize how influential your mouth is to your overall health?

In an effort to prove just how intertwined your mouth is to the rest of your body, the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health created two Critical Connections infographics — “Impacts Beyond the Mouth” and “Getting to the Heart of It” to demonstrate the importance of oral health on the whole body.
As you can tell, your mouth is a big part of keeping you healthy. So make sure you’re keeping up with your daily brushing and flossing, and consult with your dentist regularly.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health or overall health, please contact your dentist or primary care doctor.

DISCLAIMER: This content is provided for general information, is not intended to provide medical or dental advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or dental advice, diagnosis or treatment. No dentist/patient relationship is established by this content. No diagnosis or treatment is being provided. No guarantees or warranties, including insurance coverage or payment, are made regarding any of the information provided. We may provide links to other websites that are not under our control. In general, any website that has an address (or URL) not containing our domain name is such a website. These links are provided for convenience or reference only and are not intended as an endorsement by us of the organization or individual operating the website or a warranty of any type regarding the website or the information on the website.