According to a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal("If Your Teeth Could Talk ...) maybe they can't, but the article points out that a number of systemic problems seem to be linked to problems in oral health. According to the Journal article "There's also growing evidence that oral health problems, particularly gum disease, can harm a patient's general health as well, raising the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and pregnancy complications."
This idea has been posited by a large number of articles including prior Ask Dr Spindel posts.
I am glad that such a well respected and wide read News Paper is calling attention to the importance of Oral Health. This article correctly portrays the importance of dentistry to our overall health. Visits to the dentist are not just about finding tooth decay, but as the article implies, they may even help prolong our lives. Many people in the last several years have cut back on their dental visits in order to save money. Not only will delaying on fixing teeth tend to cost us more in the long run, preventive dental cleanings and treatment of periodontal disease clearly have an impact on our general health.