How does oral health affect your overall health?

How does oral health affect your overall health?

Posted by 20th Avenue Dentistry on Dec 21 2020, 10:34 PM

How does oral health affect your overall health?

The well-being of the mouth and body are interrelated. Meaning, a person’s oral health gives clues about the state of their overall health. Likewise, how well you care for your oral health influences your overall health too. This goes to prove that the mouth is the gateway to the body and ignoring either can have a drastic negative effect on the other.

It all starts with the mouth.

The mouth is the entry point of the digestive tract and also links to the respiratory system. The microbes present in the mouth can easily enter either of these systems and lead to significant health concerns, especially if the individual’s immune system isn’t strong enough. Here are a few health conditions that are affected by poor oral health.

Heart conditions.

This may seem difficult to believe, but cardiovascular conditions are prominent among patients who suffer from gum diseases like periodontitis. A common symptom of gum disease is inflammation and bleeding of the gums, which also allows the oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream. The microbes could harden the arteries and lead to a condition called atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by blockages in the blood vessels and heart. This likely increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Respiratory infections.

While inhaling through the mouth, the harmful bacteria could reach the lungs and infect the tissues. Alternatively, the bacteria could enter the lungs through the bloodstream as well. Once they get deposited in the sponge-like tissues in the lungs, they thrive and multiply in the lungs and could lead to conditions like pneumonia, bronchitis, or even COPD.


Patients with diabetes often experience higher diabetic levels when they have gum disease. The condition is interlinked, as higher diabetic levels negatively affect the healing ability of the decayed tissues. This can worsen the gum disease, leading to periodontitis. Hence, it is especially crucial for diabetic patients to maintain optimum oral health.

Rheumatoid arthritis.

Periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis have a common symptom - inflammation of the tissues. Compared to healthy individuals, patients with gum disease are four times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis. This is due to the oral bacteria, which can cause inflammation throughout the body when they get circulated through the bloodstream.

How can these conditions be prevented?

Brushing and flossing the teeth at least twice every day is a simple and effective means of keeping oral conditions at bay. Most of us brush regularly but may forget to floss. This isn’t a healthy practice, as flossing is just as important as brushing to get rid of the microbes and food debris between the teeth. It is essential to follow good oral habits, such as keeping away from chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes, limiting the consumption of sugar-rich foods and beverages, using oral care products that contain fluoride, etc. Sticking to a well-balanced diet with nutritious food helps to keep the mouth and body healthy.

Please get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us, and we’ll guide you further.

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