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It's time to start
working together
for our patients

What do physicians and dentists have in common? More than many of us realize.

Though our paths diverged along the way, we all went through rigorous training to become experts in our fields, and our patients look to us to keep them healthy and pain-free. And there’s quite a bit of overlap among our patients. The fact is, we’re all on the same team!

So why don’t we work more closely together? Why don’t we communicate as much as we should? All your patients have mouths, and all ours have hearts, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. And all of it is connected through the bloodstream.

What happens in one part of the body often affects another part. Yet when it comes to the mouth, which aside from an open wound is the biggest polluter of the bloodstream, many doctors are content to leave it for the dentist to deal with. More concerningly, they’re not always looking in the mouth for clues to problems elsewhere in the body.

This website is part of a larger effort to connect those dots, and to close the “deadly gap” that often exists between doctors and dentists. Hundreds of studies in the last 10 to 20 years have linked problems in the mouth – infections, gum disease, obstructions, etc. – to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, pregnancy problems, arthritis, sleep disorders, and other serious conditions.

We have two goals here: education and communication.

Education: On this page you’ll find links to dozens of studies, stories and videos about oral-systemic health. We’re not making this stuff up! You learn even more by visiting our sister site, YourFilthyMouth.com, where you can listen to a weekly podcast and read our blog.

Communication: Let’s start talking! Contact your patient’s dentist and ask about their oral health. Find out if they have been or are being treated for any infections or other problems that could spread throughout the body. Download this form to use to request information.

If your patient says he or she hasn’t been to the dentist in more than a year or two, strongly encourage them to get a checkup. Physicians regularly recommend patients to have their “back door” checked with a colonoscopy so they can evaluate the health of the colon and check for cancer. But what about the “front door,” or the mouth?

Physicians and dentists both have important roles in the health and well-being of our patients. Imagine how much they’ll benefit when we work together.

FACTS ABOUT ORAL-SYSTEMIC CARE

  • Coronavirus: Could there be a link between oral hygiene and the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections? Read
  • Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General (Executive Summary). Read
  • Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General  (Full Report). Download
  • Oral Health Update: Ten Years After the Surgeon General’s Report. Download
  • Delta Dental: How Gum Disease Affects Your Health. Read
  • Web MD: Dangers of Gum Disease. Watch video 
  • American Academy of Family Physicians: Oral manifestations of systemic disease. Download
  • ScienceDirect: Oral infections and systemic disease—an emerging problem in medicine. Read
  • Washington State Department of Health: Oral Diseases and Other Systemic Conditions. Download
  • The National Center for Biotechnology Information: Systemic Diseases Caused by Oral Infection. Read
  • American Society for Microbiology: Systemic Diseases Caused by Oral Infection. Read
  • Harvard Medical School: Gum disease and heart disease: The common thread. How plaque on your teeth may be connected to plaque in your arteries. Read
  • National Institutes of Health: The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease: How far we have come in last two decades? Read
  • Journal of Periodontology: Role for Periodontal Bacteria in Cardiovascular Diseases. Read
  • Science Daily: Connection between mouth bacteria, inflammation in heart disease. Read
  • The BMJ Postgraduate Medical Journal: High-risk periodontal pathogens contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Read
  • American Diabetes Association: Diabetes and Oral Health Problems. Read
  • American Academy of Periodontology: Diabetes and Periodontal Disease. Read
  • National Institutes of Health: Periodontitis and diabetes: a two-way relationship. Read
  • American Diabetes Association: Diabetes and Periodontal Infection: Making the Connection. Read
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine: Diabetes and Periodontal (Gum) Disease. Read
  • American Heart Association: Oral Bacterial Signatures in Cerebral Thrombi of Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke Treated With Thrombectomy. Read
  • Stroke: A Journal of Cerebral Circulation: Periodontal Disease as a Risk Factor for Ischemic Stroke. Read
  • Medscape: More Evidence Links Gum Disease to Stroke Risk. Read
  • Saebo: The Hidden Connection Between Gum Disease and Stroke. Read
  • National Institutes for Health: Gingivitis and periodontitis as a risk factor for stroke: A case-control study in the Iranian population. Read
  • PubMed: Association between periodontal disease and stroke. Read
  • National Health Institute: Periodontitis and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Possible Comorbidity between Oral Chronic Inflammatory Condition and Neuroinflammation. Read
  • Science Daily: Link between gum disease and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s. Read
  • MedicineNet: A Link Between Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s? Read
  • Science Alert: The cause of Alzheimer’s could be coming from inside your mouth, study claims. Read
  • American Academy of Periodontology: Expectant Mothers’ Periodontal Health Vital to Health of Her Baby. Read
  • Babble: Gum Disease and Complications During Pregnancy. Read
  • ScienceDirect: Periodontal disease and pregnancy outcomes: exposure, risk and intervention. Read
  • Dentaid: Periodontal disease and pregnancy. Read
  • Medical Life Sciences News: Periodontitis and Pregnancy. Read
  • Victoria State Government (Australia): Pregnancy and teeth. Read
  • BioMed Central: The association between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease. Read
  • Arthritis Foundation: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease. Read
  • Everyday Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease: What You Need to Know. Read
  • National Institutes of Health: Periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis: the evidence accumulates for complex pathobiologic interactions. Read
  • National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (UK): Gum Disease. Read
  • NBC News: Could Gum Disease Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis? Read
  • Rheumatology Advisor: Bi-Directional Links Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Periodontal Disease. Read

VIDEOS ABOUT ORAL HEALTH AND THE HEART