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Impacts of Oral Hygiene on Overall Health

By : on : 19th June 2022 comments:(0)

Everyone knows that bad oral hygiene can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other dental health problems. However, what if I told you that poor oral health can lead to things as serious as infertility or even a heart attack? If this sounds impossible to you, brace yourself because you are in for a big surprise! Good oral health means much more than just healthy gums and shiny teeth. From cardiovascular health to mental abilities – everything is linked to oral health in one way or another.

No wonder doctors always emphasize the importance of oral hygiene. It is important to realize that the mouth is the entryway for the body. Everything that you consume goes through the mouth. When you practice poor oral hygiene, bacteria from the mouth can easily get into your bloodstream, causing infections and problems throughout the body. By practicing good dental hygiene, you can make sure that this doesn’t happen to you and that you steer clear of the following serious health problems that can result from poor dental health. Scroll down to read all about the impacts of oral health on the general health of the body.

Respiratory Issues

Poor oral health can take a toll on a number of organs including your lungs. It can affect the respiratory system in a number of ways. Research confirms that there are around 300 different kinds of bacteria in the mouth. When you turn a blind eye to your poor oral health, bacteria from bleeding gums and decaying teeth can be inhaled into the lungs. If that happens, it can cause or aggravate multiple respiratory infections and problems including asthma, pneumonia, and acute bronchitis. In some cases, it can lead to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which encompasses a number of respiratory disorders including emphysema.

Cardiovascular Disease

Can a stroke be linked to the habit of not brushing your teeth at least twice a day? Well, certainly yes! Oral inflammation and bacteria caused by it can play an important role when it comes to clogged arteries in the heart. Research suggests if bacteria that cause inflammation in the mouth spreads to other parts of the body, it can cause inflammation in other areas as well. This means that as you munch on your favorite snacks while experiencing inflammation in the mouth, the chances are that the bacteria hitches a ride with the food and is eventually absorbed into the bloodstream.

When it reaches the heart, it can cause the arteries to experience inflammation as well. This inflammation promotes the production of plaque in the arteries, which ultimately leads them to clog, affecting your overall cardiovascular health. Keeping this in mind, it does not come as a surprise that experts believe that people you experience gum diseases are at a greater risk of getting a stroke or a heart attack.

Symptoms of Dementia

Bacteria stemming from the mouth can cause inflammation in the brain, killing the brain cells. This can lead to a decrease in the overall abilities of the brain. In fact, research has already proved a link between poor oral health and memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and other symptoms of dementia.

Complications during Pregnancy and Delivery

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes a number of changes including abrupt changes in hormonal levels in the body. These changes make women more susceptible to developing oral infections. This means that it is important for expectant mothers to pay extra attention to their oral health.

But how exactly does it affect the health of the mother and the child? Well, oral health problems in expectant mothers can lead to premature delivery, which does not only have adverse effects on the health of the mother but also puts the child’s life at stake! Furthermore, oral infections during pregnancy have also been linked to low birth weight in infants, which can give rise to another set of health problems on its own. This reflects the importance of oral hygiene for pregnant women.

Infertility Issues

Since dental health impacts the overall health of an individual, it also affects the ability to conceive and sustain a healthy pregnancy in women. It has been seen that along with other infertility issues, women with poor oral health generally take longer to get pregnant.

As for men, poor oral health can lead to erectile dysfunction. We already know that bacteria from inflamed gums can get mixed with the blood and cause inflammation throughout the body. These bacteria can cause the blood vessels to get inflamed, making it hard for the blood to reach the genital areas, which, in turn, put an individual at a greater risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction.


Dental health has a complex relationship with diabetes. Diabetes makes it difficult for an individual to maintain good oral health. At the same time, poor oral hygiene promotes diabetes and other symptoms related to it. Thus, a person suffering from diabetes can easily enter a vicious cycle. People with poor dental health are likely to have a hard time controlling their blood sugar.

Now that you know the importance of oral health and its impact on the overall health of the body, there’s simply no excuse to not follow a healthy dental care routine. Keep in mind that while under normal circumstances, bacteria from the mouth does not get mixed in the bloodstream; it is likely to happen when you experience cavities or gum diseases.

So make sure you steer clear off that path.  Brush your teeth at least twice a day and don’t forget to floss! Also, regularly visit your dentist to make sure you always enjoy ideal dental and general health.



Dr Hassan El Awour


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