How oral health affects overall health

Friday, July 26, 2019

We know that bad oral hygiene can lead to cavities and tooth decay, but it can also greatly affect your overall health and wellbeing.

Your mouth is the entrance point for food, liquids and air to travel into your body, and if your mouth is affected by bacteria or decay, this can be transported further.

How bad oral hygiene affects your body:
A few major concerns associated with bad oral hygiene and overall health include:

Cardiovascular health:
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of early death in first world countries including Australia. Patients suffering from periodontal disease, which causes inflammation of the gums, would have higher levels of bad bacteria breeding in their mouth. This bacteria can enter the bloodstream then travel towards the arteries of the heart, causing atherosclerosis. This then causes plaque build up in the arteries of the heart, leading to decreased blood flow which can cause a heart attack or a stroke.

Periodontal disease, or gum disease can make it difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. This may then cause the symptoms of diabetes to be more prevalent, and harder to manage.

Lung infections:
Respiratory infections can occur if bacteria travels from the mouth down to the lungs. This can lead to serious issues include pneumonia. If not treated quickly, gum disease will fester and breathing in the bacteria towards your lungs over a long period of time can be very detrimental to your overall health.

Immune system:
With constant bacteria or plaque building up in the mouth, the body will have a difficult time fighting off infections around the clock. If left untreated, this can break down the immune system over time, leaving you more susceptible to other viruses and diseases.

How good oral hygiene affects your body:
Keeping up a healthy dental routine and taking care of your teeth can have a very positive affect on your body and overall health.

Saliva plays a key role in protecting your body from any nasty invaders that could cause harm. If your oral health is affecting your saliva production, this can make you susceptible to a range of health problems.

Brushing and flossing every day is so important for a healthy mouth, and a healthy body. During your bi-yearly dental check-up your dentist will also clean out those hard to reach areas that you can’t get to with floss or a brush, making sure you mouth is always clean and healthy.

To book in your next check-up, visit

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