5 Ways Poor Dental Care Can Impact Your Overall Health

Dentist showing the patient her teeth resultYou know you should brush at least twice every day, floss once daily, and visit your dentist regularly. However, did you know that dental care can protect you, much more than those unsightly stains and painful cavities? Here are some ways poor oral care can affect your general health:

Cardiovascular disease

Doctors have found a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. The bacteria that causes gum inflammation and gum disease can enter the bloodstream and lead to the hardening of your arteries. Plaque can then accumulate on the inner walls, causing the arteries to thicken and affecting blood flow. Decreased or blocked blood flow can significantly increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.


Gingivitis can increase the possibility of dementia and development of Alzheimer’s disease. That may happen if the bacteria from gingivitis enters the brain through either the bloodstream or the nerve channels in the head.

Respiratory infections

Periodontal disease can lead to lung infections such as pneumonia. Dentists from South Bend explains that this may happen if you breathe in bacteria from gum disease for an extended period.

Diabetic complications

There may be a reciprocal relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes. When diabetes is poorly controlled, the condition in the mouth deteriorates. When gum disease is not managed, the need for insulin is increased.


Both osteoporosis and periodontitis involve bone loss. Some studies have observed that women with osteoporosis are more prone to gum disease than women without osteoporosis. Although the link between the conditions is unclear, research is ongoing on whether the inflammation triggered by gum disease could affect bone in other parts of the patient’s body.

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There are many links between dental and general health. Your oral health is a window to your general health and problems in your mouth can spread to the rest of your body. Brushing, flossing, and dental appointments can, therefore, keep more than your teeth healthy.