What is Oral-systemic Health?

what is oral-systemic healthKeeping up with good dental and periodontal health is a reward unto itself, but a beautiful smile isn’t the only benefit. Oral-systemic health describes the relationship between oral health conditions, like periodontal disease, and chronic systemic issues, like heart disease. For instance, in the case of severe periodontal disease, the unchecked inflammation that damages your gum tissues can increase your risk of inflammation elsewhere, elevating your risks of inflammatory conditions. Though it isn’t guaranteed that poor oral health will lead to poor physical health, the prevalence of oral-systemic health means taking care of your smile can help lower your risks in the future.

The Oral-Systemic Connection

  • More than 600 types of bacteria live in a healthy human mouth, and when allowed to multiply, they can begin to affect all aspects of your dental health. Good hygiene, like brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, helps control harmful bacteria on a daily basis, and routine dental cleanings offer more comprehensive control.
  • Excessive oral bacteria are responsible for numerous common issues, like tooth decay and gum disease. While some bacteria attack a tooth’s structure, others can irritate soft periodontal tissues, causing them to become inflamed.
  • Typically, inflammation is a defensive mechanism your immune system uses to drive out harmful microbes. However, oral bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis can manipulate your immune system, inhibiting its ability to control its inflammatory reaction. The resulting unchecked inflammation and infection is known as gingivitis, which eventually progresses into periodontal disease as the symptoms grow worse.


As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann M. Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. Dr. Kania also offers the Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) for minimally-invasive, scalpel-free gum grafting. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, contact her office today at (760) 642-0711.