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How Poor Oral Hygiene Affects The Rest Of Your Body

Have you ever wondered how your oral health affects your body? Not only does poor oral hygiene contribute to your oral health, but it also has a direct connection to your general health. Without proper oral hygiene, high bacteria levels in your mouth can contribute to oral infections and diseases. Since the mouth is the gateway to your body, this bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause infections and inflammation.

Health Issues Caused by Poor Oral Hygiene

Here are ten serious issues that have been linked to poor oral hygiene:

1. Cardiovascular Disease If you have inflamed gums due to periodontitis-causing bacteria, there is a chance the bacteria can infiltrate the bloodstream resulting in a buildup of plaque in the arteries. This can cause your arteries to harden, increasing your likelihood of a stroke or heart attack.
2. Dementia
– Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have been connected to poor oral hygiene. When gums become inflamed and bacteria is released, brain cells can be killed resulting in memory loss.
3. Respiratory Infections
– Poor oral health can also lead to respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and in some instances, COPD. Like mentioned above, bacteria from dental infections can travel to the lungs through the bloodstream or by breathing it in.
4. Diabetes
– People with diabetes experience high blood sugar which makes them more susceptible to poor health problems. When diabetes is poorly controlled, the body’s white blood cells, the primary defense against bacterial infections, become weak. This results in oral infections.
5. Issues in Pregnancy
– When pregnant, a woman’s hormonal imbalance allows bacterial infections to easily form. Infections like periodontitis and gingivitis have led to premature birth and low birth weight in babies
6. Infertility – It has been proven that poor oral hygiene can lead to fertility problems in both men and women. Oral infections can lead to other health issues making it harder for someone to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy.
7. Erectile Dysfunction
– Chronic periodontal disease (CPD) can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). Bacteria from gums infected with CPD can enter the bloodstream causing inflamed blood vessels, in turn blocking blood flow to a man’s genitals.
8. Cancer
– Tobacco use can greatly increase your chances of oral cancers, but other types of cancers have been connected to poor oral health as well. Risk for cancers such as kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancer is higher in someone who has poor oral hygiene.
9. Kidney Disease
– Oral infections and periodontal disease can bring about more serious diseases like kidney disease. This is because those with gum disease have weak immune systems, allowing other infections to develop.
10. Rheumatoid Arthritis
– The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society has found a correlation between Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and gum disease. If affected by gum disease, that person became four times as likely to have RA. The bacteria can cause inflammation to spread throughout the body leading to a higher risk of RA.

Preventative Measures You Can Take

Obviously, routine dental checkups are the first step to take in order to prevent dental issues in the first place. Your dentist will be able to address any pain or discomfort you are experiencing or spot anything concerning. The rest, however, is up to you. If you aren’t practicing good oral hygiene daily, the dentist can only help so much.

Ready to book your dental checkup?

If you’re concerned about your dental health or simply need to schedule your next dental checkup, please give us a call at (574) 269-1787 or contact us here. We’re here to help you on your journey to great dental and overall health!