The Symbiotic Relationship Between Your Mouth And Your Body

inflameYou probably learned about symbiosis during your high school health class. Symbiosis is “a relationship of dependence or mutual benefit.” Your mouth and your body have a symbiotic relationship. If one remains healthy, so does the other. If one becomes diseased so can the other. Over the past several years this relationship has been researched and studied repeatedly. It has been found that people with dental disease are 40 percent more likely to have a chronic health condition. Read on to find out more about the symbiotic relationship between your mouth and your body.

How Your Mouth Affects Your Body

Your mouth is filled with bacteria. Some bacteria are good and some harmful. The good bacteria help keep the bad bacteria under control. However, what you eat and drink affects how successful the good bacteria are. Harmful pathogenic bacteria feed off of sugar, and starches that break down into sugars. The more sugars and starches in your mouth, the more pathogenic bacteria. As they feed off the sugars, they reproduce themselves as well as producing harmful acids that destroy your tooth enamel. Left untreated harmful bacteria build up on your teeth and gums. When your immune system tries to fight it off, it results in inflammation of the gingival tissue. Inflammation is your bodies attempt to protect itself against pathogens such as oral bacteria. Oral bacteria can affect other parts of your body as it travels through your blood stream and causes inflammation elsewhere.

Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation helps protect your body from illness. It is the result of your immune system fighting off microbial invaders, viruses, fungi, and harmful bacteria.  When a stimulus is persistent (like untreated pathogenic oral bacteria) the inflammation will become chronic. Chronic inflammation can damage arteries causing heart disease, stroke, and dementia, all three of which have been associated with periodontal disease. Chronic inflammation can also affect your joints causing Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as other chronic ailments.


With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact his Fort Worth, TX office today by calling 817-918-3038.