How Does Dental Hygiene Affect Overall Health?

How Does Dental Hygiene Affect Overall Health

Are you aware that oral health is a guideline to your overall health? Explore how does dental hygiene affect overall health?

You might not realize that oral health is crucial and it has benefits far beyond your mouth. It can have a major impact on your general well-being, medical costs, and quality of life. Still, it has been seen that most people overlook and underappreciate the mouth as part of overall health. Read on to learn how poor dental care can affect your overall health and wellness. By learning the relationship between the two, you can protect yourself from future issues. The good news is that you can establish good oral hygiene habits including proper dental care, regular dental check-ups, and professional teeth cleaning to prevent any health issues. 

How Can Poor Oral Health Affect the Rest of the Body?

Oral health depends upon how well you maintain your dental hygiene. There are several oral health concerns including dental cavities, tooth loss, oral cancer, periodontal disease, oro-dental trauma, and birth defects such as cleft lift and palate. Some of their risk factors include alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and unhealthy diets rich in sugars.

Most oral health issues like cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, or foul mouth order are due to dental plaque build-up i.e. the accumulation of bacteria inside the mouth. As our mouth is connected to the rest of the body, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream of the patient via an oral route and cause inflammation or infection in other body parts.  

Poor oral health can lead to intense pain and an increase in pocket expenses, thus becoming a financial burden. People with oral diseases and conditions can get psychologically affected and significantly reduce their quality of life. 

How Does Dental Hygiene Affect Overall Health?

The following health issues can be caused by bad oral health:

  • Dementia

In the case of severe gum disease, the inflammation of the gums can cause the release of certain substances that can damage some of our brain cells. The bacteria causing gum infection/disease may spread through the nerve channels or bloodstream and lead to loss of memory (probably Alzheimer’s disease).  

  •  Respiratory Illness

Gingivitis bacteria can move from the infected mouth into the lungs via inhalation or bloodstream and result in lung infections including pneumonia and even bronchitis.

  • Cardiovascular Disease

Unhealthy gums pose a risk of heart disease. The bacteria from the inflamed or infected gums can transfer to the arteries through the bloodstream. As a result, one can have atherosclerosis or endocarditis. Atherosclerosis is when a bacterial plaque builds up on the inner lining of the arteries, causing the artery wall to thicken and the arteries to narrow. This reduces the blood flow within the arteries that passes blood throughout the body and may lead to stroke or heart attack. Endocarditis refers to the inflammation or infection of the endocardium-the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves. This happens when the bacteria of the mouth spread to the heart through the bloodstream and attach themselves to the heart lining.

  • Diabetic Complications

The blood sugar level of diabetic individuals can be difficult to control and worsen diabetes when people suffer from periodontal disease. It has also been seen that diabetic people are more likely to have periodontal disease because of reduced resistance of the body to infections.

  • Prostate Issues

For men who already have serious gum disease, their chances of having prostatitis become more. Prostatitis is a medical condition referring to the inflammation and irritation of the prostate gland that can lead to further prostate problems.

  • Cancer

Different cancers like that of the pancreas, kidney, or blood can occur because of poor oral health. In addition, if the patient is a smoker or has been using tobacco products for too long, they are likely to suffer from oral or throat cancers.

  • Infertility


In women, periodontitis is known to be linked to infertility. Such women might face difficulty in conceiving a child or a have a healthy pregnancy. There are chances of premature childbirth or birth of a child with low weight.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune, inflammatory disease wherein the immune cells attack the healthy self-cells in the body, thereby causing inflammation of the affected body parts. People with gum disease are likely to spread the mouth bacteria to other body areas and increase the risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis.

  • Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a health condition wherein the kidneys are not able to function properly and filter the blood the way they should. A diseased kidney can affect the health of the heart and bones and even lead to hypertension. People with gum disease also have weakened immune systems, which makes them susceptible to various infections including kidney disease.

If you are experiencing any dental issues, talk to a dentist immediately to get treatment or address them in the initial stages to prevent future problems. To learn more about how your oral health affects your overall wellness, consult now with the dental expert in Chicago at First Point Dental.

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