The mouth reflects the well-being and body balance, and apart from the dental arches, it includes gums, tongue, salivary glands, jaw bones - all lined by oral mucosa. As well as the teeth, each component is susceptible to various diseases with issues often worse than those of dental problems.


Oral health - General health

The interrelationship between oral and general health is proven by evidence. Severe periodontal disease, for example, is associated with diabetes2. The strong correlation between several oral diseases and noncommunicable chronic diseases is primarily a result of the common risk factors. Many general disease conditions also have oral manifestations that increase the risk of oral disease which, in turn, is a risk factor for a number of general health conditions.

Tobacco and oral health


It is well known that smoking contributes to the development of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, and there is weighty evidence that it has a considerable influence on oral health. Smoking has many negative effects on the mouth, including staining of teeth and dental restorations, reduction of the ability to smell and taste, and the development of oral diseases such as smoker's palate, smoker's melanosis, coated tongue, and, possibly, oral candidosis and dental caries, periodontal disease, implant failure, oral precancer and cancer. From a qualitative point of view the latter is obviously the most serious tobacco-related effect in the mouth.

Proper oral health care reduces premature mortality

Early detection of disease is in most cases crucial to saving lives. A thorough oral examination can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies as well as a number of general diseases including microbial infections, immune disorders, injuries, and oral cancer. The craniofacial tissues also provide an understanding of organs and systems in less accessible parts of the body. For example, the salivary glands are a model of the exocrine glands, and an analysis of saliva can provide important clues to general health or disease.