Oral health: a reflection of your personal health Oral health: a reflection of your personal health

Oral health: a reflection of your personal health

CORPORATE 2 October, 2017 Isabel Vallejo

Conditions of the mouth such as cavities or gum disease, may be related to different disorders and health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems.

Medical Advisor Olga Nancy Galeano Ruiz, dentist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare

There is increasing evidence of the close relationship between oral health and overall health. Accumulated food and bacteria in the teeth and gums causes changes in the PH of the oral cavity, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. These two conditions are risk factors for developing or worsening systemic diseases or organ damage such as heart problems, kidney problems, diabetes, cancer, anemia, high blood pressure and HIV/AIDS, among others.

Heart disease has been found to be related to gum disease, as the bacteria and the process of periodontitis can have an effect on the vascular system. This can lead to the accumulation of cholesterol, causing arteriosclerosis or thrombosis, which in turn may lead to this heart condition.

A study conducted by the Erie County Medical Center in the U.S. found a connection between the presence of bacteria and plaque, and respiratory conditions such as pneumonia.

People with poorly controlled diabetes are three times more likely to have gum disease. This disease affects one of every four people between ages 35 and 45. With 4 of every 10 people over age 65, it can be a precursor to and lead to the developing diabetes.

Caring for someone’s health requires a multidisciplinary approach between dentists and other healthcare professionals such as endocrinologists, cardiologists, gynecologists and primary care physicians.

Conditions of the mouth

Dentist Olga Nancy Galeano Ruiz explains that according to a recent article published in the journal Dentistry Today, studies have found evidence for there to be a connection between oral health and systemic diseases, as these affect the health of the tissues in the oral cavity. Depending on the seriousness of the disease, this can cause bleeding gums, tooth migration, chronic bad breath or salivary problems (acidic or turbid saliva).

Malocclusion (a problem in the alignment of the upper and lower teeth when chewing) can also lead to digestive problems as food is not chewed properly and nutrients are not absorbed properly during digestion, which can lead to nutrition problems.

During pregnancy, hormonal changes occur that affect the gums and mouth and can cause the gums to become inflamed, gingivitis and gum disease. During this time of life, oral health and special care from a professional is necessary.

Studies have found that the conditions of the oral cavity can be a risk factor for pre-eclampsia and may be tied to the baby’s development and growth related to them being underweight or premature.

Prenatal and postnatal visits to the dentist during each trimester of the pregnancy are recommended in order to provide timely intervention.

Dr. Galeano suggests that oral health conditions, and those that are caused by them, be treated by an interdisciplinary team in order to stabilize the patient’s health quickly


Social and lifestyle factors such as education, poverty levels, restricted access to immediate healthcare services, and family practices and habits can lead to oral health conditions. This is why it is important to take self-care actions such as:

  • Becoming educated on oral health and setting healthy habits
  • Maintaining a healthy diet

  • Visiting the dentist regularly

  • Limiting alcohol consumption

  • Not smoking


Dental Elite Coomeva Private Healthcare has a Dental Elite program that is designed for patients to achieve and maintain good oral health. To learn more, call 018000931666 or go to our webpage: http://medicinaprepagada.coomeva.com.co.