Oral health is an integral part of overall health. Oral health means being free of cavities and gum disease. Oral health also means being free of chronic oral pain conditions, oral cancers, birth defects such as cleft lip and palate and other conditions that affect the mouth and throat. Research has shown infection in the mouth is linked with diabetes, heart disease, aspiration pneumonia and low birth weight. Poor oral health affects good nutrition, communication abilities, self-esteem, productive work, and social interaction.
Risks to oral health are risks to overall health.