How Dental Hygiene Affects Overall Health

Your oral health is essential to your overall health. Most people overlook their oral health compared to the health of the rest of their bodies. However, experts have found direct links between oral health and overall health. Also, they have found that some health conditions worsen if oral health is not in check. 


Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health


Many areas of the body have bacteria that are harmless to the body. But when these bacteria travel to other parts of the body with a different ecosystem, they can cause trouble. It is the case with the mouth; it teems with bacteria that are harmless in the mouth. If these bacteria travel to other body parts, they can cause disease. 


Even though the bacteria in the mouth are harmless, they are only so if you maintain good oral hygiene. If you let yourself go, the same harmless bacteria grow and reach harmful levels. They can cause gum disease or tooth decay, or other oral infections.


Some studies show a link between oral bacteria that causes periodontal disease and other conditions. Also, some diseases and conditions can lower the body's immunity, allowing oral infections to flourish. 


Conditions Linked to Oral Health


Here are some diseases and conditions that oral health can contribute to:


  • Endocarditis


It is a condition that affects the endocardium, the inner lining of your heart and valves. It occurs when bacteria in the bloodstream from other parts of the body attach to parts of the heart. These bacteria can come from the mouth, especially if there is a sore or if you have gum disease.


  • Cardiovascular Disease


According to some studies, there is a link between oral bacteria that causes infection and inflammation with stroke, heart disease, and clogged arteries. However, experts do not fully understand the connection between the two.


  • Birth Complications and Pregnancy


Experts have found a link between periodontitis, low birth weight, and premature births. 


  • Pneumonia


Some bacteria in your mouth can travel to the lungs and cause respiratory diseases like pneumonia.


  • Rheumatoid Arthritis


If you sustain significant tooth loss from gum disease, you are at a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.


Conditions That Affect Oral Health


  • Diabetes


Because diabetes reduces the resistance of the body to infection, your gums may be at risk. Experts have noted that gum disease in patients with diabetes is more severe than in regular patients. 


Research also shows that it is much harder to control your blood sugar level if you have gum disease. The conclusion is that better periodontal care can lead to better control of diabetes.




Reports say that people with HIV/AIDS have frequent oral problems such as mucosal lesions.

  • Osteoporosis


There have been links between periodontal bone loss, tooth loss, and this bone weakening disease. Some drugs used to treat this disease risk damaging bones in the jaw.


  • Alzheimer's Disease


Experts have noticed that as Alzheimer's disease progresses, patients' oral health also worsens. Also, some gingivitis bacteria can travel from your mouth to your brain, causing Alzheimer's. 


For more on how dental hygiene affects overall health, call Cal Oaks Dental at (951) 501-4900 to reach our office in Murrieta, California.

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