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Oral Health Collaborative

The Cornerstone Oral Health Outreach Initiative is a collaborative effort of the the Cornerstone and the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative. Since  2010 the CDC has been leading the effort in Duplin to provide resources to children and adults.

The Facts

Oral health is a vital part of our overall health and can have a major impact on people who suffer from a severe form of gum disease called periodontitis, the inflammation, or swelling, can facilitate the passage of pathogenic bacteria into the bloodstream or airways. The bacteria can then cause infections in other parts of the body like the heart (pericarditis) or lungs (pneumonia, or a worsening of respiratory diseases like emphysema or chronic bronchitis). 

There also appears to be a link between heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke and the inflammation caused by periodontitis. 

In pregnant women, gum disease may also increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight. 

Conversely, some diseases can have an impact on oral health. For example : 

  • Diabetes increases the risk of infection, including in the mouth. Gum disease is also more frequent, and more severe, in people who have diabetes, and diabetics with gum disease tend to have more trouble controlling their blood sugar levels.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome causes chronic dry mouth, which promotes the growth of bacteria.