The Oral-Systemic Connection Across the Lifespan

Published 07/20/2023

How Dental Health Affects Overall Health at Every Age 

Across the lifespan, there is a strong connection between dental health and overall health. But the nature of that connection — the specific challenges and risks — changes over time. An infographic from CareQuest Institute summarizes research on these connections, from pregnancy through older adulthood.

Key points include:  

  • Periodontal treatment during pregnancy is linked to lower risk of infant mortality, preterm birth, and low birth weight. 
  • Early childhood caries (cavities) and its associated pain are linked to negative impacts on play, school, sleeping, eating, and overall well-being. 
  • Older adults with fewer than 20 teeth are more likely to experience greater overall disability and cognitive decline. 

You may also be interested in: