Whole Body Health

Exploring the bidirectional relationship between oral health and general health

Discover the latest research linking oral health with overall health through the new FDI Whole Body Health platform.

Did you know that oral diseases affect almost half the world’s population? In fact, nearly 3.5 billion people suffer from oral health conditions, making them the most prevalent noncommunicable disease (NCD) globally. Good oral health is not only about having a healthy smile; it can also impact your overall health, well-being and quality of life.

Unfortunately, oral health has often been isolated within health systems in many countries, separating the mouth from the body and underestimating the importance of oral health for general health. Through its Whole Body Health project, FDI is spotlighting the bidirectional relationship of oral-systemic health and aims to promote the latest research in the area.


Discover the surprising links between oral and systemic health with the new Whole Body Health Diagram

Oral health is a key indicator of general health, and poor oral health can increase the risk of other NCDs. Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases are associated with multiple health conditions including cardiovascular diseases and increased risk of stroke, and diabetes which have a bi-directional relationship with periodontal disease, each able to influence and worsen the other. Periodontitis during pregnancy is linked to low birth weight, preterm birth and pre-eclampsia.

The Whole Body Health Diagram is designed to enable oral health professionals and the wider healthcare community to access the latest research linking oral health with overall health and support the exploration of these relationships. The evidence presented strongly supports FDI’s Vision 2030, which maps out how healthcare professionals can contribute appropriately to the effective prevention and management of oral diseases and collaborate across health disciplines to improve health and well-being.

Each health condition presented in the diagram has been graded according to the strength of the supporting research (robust, emerging, early). The impact of poor oral health on the specific condition has been graded as “causal”, “worsening” or “association”. This information can be used to advocate for enhanced and integrated care plans that take into account the bidirectional relationship between oral health and overall health. National Dental Associations are highly encouraged to access, share and use the information presented in the diagram.


The Whole Body Health project is supported by Colgate

Whole Body Health

FDI Whole Body Health platform

Whole Body Health Diagram

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