Your mouth can tell you more about your general health

Image of stethoscope and tooth and heart image as part of The DHAA are supporting World Oral Health Day 2018 to raise awareness around the importance of good oral health and how it can be linked with cardiovascular disease.

Kelsey Ingram explains that your mouth is a reflection of your body and can tell you more about your general health than you think.

It is important to realise that your general health and oral health are linked as research continues to establish a strong link between gum disease and cardiovascular diseases (WHO, 2017).  Specifically, there is strong evidence of gum disease increasing the risk of a first heart attack (Ryden et al, 2016). Currently, one in six Australians have cardiovascular disease so it is likely that you or someone you know is affected.

Addressing the common risk factors can be a strategy to benefit overall health; this includes eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and regularly visiting your healthcare professional.

It is important to have your gums assessed and the tartar removed from your teeth regularly by your hygienist.  If you find you’re the one in six and are diagnosed with gum disease, here are some tips to get your oral health back on track; brush your teeth two times daily, use floss or interdental brushes daily and make sure you visit your dentist and hygienist regularly.

Following these steps will not only contribute to a healthy mouth but a healthy heart too.

Thank you to Kelsey Ingram for providing this content for the DHAA as part of WOHD 2018.

Rydén L, Buhlin K, Ekstrand E, et al. Periodontitis increases the risk of a first myocardial infarction. a report from the PAROKRANK Study. Circulation. 2016;133:576–583.

World Health Organization. (2017) Mortality and global health estimates. Retrieved from