The Oral – Systemic Connection – Can good oral hygiene save and extend your life?

Overall Health starts in the mouth. The mouth is a portal to your body and a portal to a healthy life.

85% of the adult population is affected by Periodontal or gum disease

There are trillions of bacteria in your mouth that colonize and form plaque that sticks to your teeth.

These colonies release toxic compounds that cause gum inflammation and loss of bone that supports the teeth.

Within a few hours of brushing a soft film of plaque begins to coat the surface of teeth. At first the plaque is easily removed and you can scrape it off without much effort using a toothbrush. Within a day however, plaque begins to absorb hardening minerals from saliva. And, in a couple of weeks, it turns into cement-like calcified tarter that can only be removed with a dental tool. It collects on and between teeth and in the gum pockets. 

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease of the gums caused by certain types of bacteria mechanisms.

  • The gums that hold our teeth in place have many blood vessels that bacteria can get into and spread throughout the body.
  • Bacteria from your mouth can be aspirated directly into the respiratory tract.

Overflow of inflammatory proteins, namely Interleukin 6 (IL6), into the systemic circulation causes systemic inflammation.

These inflammatory chemicals and leakage of bacteria into the blood stream directly and indirectly injure the blood vessels and organs. 

In a recent study conducted by McGill University, researchers discovered that Covid-19 patients with gum disease were:

  • 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit
  • 4.5 times more likely to require a ventilator


  • 8.8 times more likely to die when compared to those without gum disease.

Periodontitis, or gum disease, is a serious infection of the gums that damages the supporting tissues of the teeth.

Untreated, it will lease to bone and tooth loss.

Bacteria and their byproducts trigger an immune response.


Symptoms of Periodontal Disease:

  • Red, swollen or receding gums
  • Painful or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Unexplained bad breath

Although bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating is a chief symptom of Periodontal Disease, symptoms may be absent.

Chronic Periodontal Disease makes you more susceptible to:

  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Low Birth weight in babies & Premature Births
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s Disease



-See your Dentist/Hygienist regularly every 3-6 months
-Brush & floss daily
-People who floss daily, live on average SEVEN more years than those who don’t

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Dr. Gary Vander Vliet

Preventive, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry


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Hastings Commons, Building 2B;
486 Schooley’s Mountain Road;
Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840


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