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A 32-year-old member asked:

Can good oral health help prevent cold and other bacterial and viral illnesses?

5 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joel Gallant
Infectious Disease 37 years experience
Not colds: Having healthy teeth and gums won't prevent colds, since cold viruses can get into your body through healthy mucosal tissue just as easily as through unhealthy tissue. However, having gum disease can put you at risk for some bacterial infectious, since pathogenic bacteria thrive in unhealthy gum tissue.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Ragan Faler
Dentistry 25 years experience
Yes: Oral bacteria have been shown to influence patients risks for respiratory infections. A good healthy mouth is important, as it is the gateway to the rest of the body.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Theodore Ritota
Dentistry 10 years experience
Yes: My experience has led me to firmly believe the following. Those with good dental hygiene are generally amongst the healthiest of the patients that i see. Doesn't mean you might not get the flu, but it certainly will keep you healthier overall. It's basically an indication that the patient is taking good care of themselves and the opposite is true to. Bad hygiene in people neglecting themselves.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. James Wright
Dentistry 34 years experience
Studies point to yes: The more studies that are done, the larger the body of evidence that health of the mouth is related to the general health... Typically, healthy mouth, healthy person. Periodontal disease is a good example. Studies show that there are links to heart issues. Also a link between periodontal bacteria and problems with other organs. Have oral cancer and pre-oral cancer screenings. Great question!
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Abel Loredo
General Dentistry 38 years experience
Good Oral Care: Unfortunately good oral care will not prevent the common cold. It is well documented that our oral flora is made of extremely virulent opportunistic bacteria. Susceptible individuals with defective heart valves may get bacterial endocarditis. If the immune system is depressed by flues, colds or other illnesses they can give us strep and other bacterial infections. Keep them down with healthy gums.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Sep 28, 2016
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