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Oral Health and Overall Health

Research continues to provide possible links

More and more, research indicates links between our oral health and our overall health. Heart disease, premature birth and Alzheimer’s are on a growing list that have ties to poor oral hygiene.

The culprit: bacteria.

Our mouth is full of bacteria. But, with proper brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups, this bacteria can be kept at bay. However, with poor oral hygiene, the bacteria has a chance to flourish and spread to the rest of our body, which may ignite a myriad of other problems.Unfortunately, the state of oral health in our nation is not a positive one.  Below are some alarming statistics:

  • Oral disease causes kids to miss 51 million school hours annually1
  • Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease2
  • 1 in 5 children in the US go without dental care3
  • Approximately 92% of adults in the US from ages 20 – 64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth4

Taking care of our mouth needs to become more than just preventing gum disease and cavities. It needs to become a fundamental part of our general health, starting in childhood.  Here’s what you can do to help protect your oral health:

  • Visit the dentist for regular cleanings and check ups
  • Brush teeth at least two times per day, for two minutes.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day
  • Eat a healthy diet, avoiding sugary and starchy foods
  • Drink plenty of water

Finally, studies have shown that orthodontic care may help with overall oral health. When teeth are not properly aligned, there are more areas where food and bacteria can collect — leading to increased plaque, cavities and risk for oral diseases. Treatment with braces can help correct crooked or crowded teeth, making brushing and flossing easier and more effective.

Associated Orthodontists offers complimentary consultations at all locations – Joliet, Plainfield, Morris, New Lenox, Frankfort and Bourbonnais. Click here to schedule an appointment, or call a location near you. For more information on locations and services, visit

Related Information:

Gum Disease, Alzheimer's Disease May Be Linked

Oral health: A window to your overall health

How Poor Dental Care Can Affect Your Overall Health


  1. Jackson, S., Vann, W., Kotch, J., Pahlel, B., Lee, J. (October, 2011) Impact of Poor Oral Health on Children's School Attendance and Performance.
  2. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Early Childhood Caries (ECC) Stats.
  3. America’s Toothfairy. Facts About Tooth Decay.
  4. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) in Adults (Age 20-64).

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