The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Well Being - KRB Dentistry
  • Aug 18, 2023

The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Well Being

Oral health is essential to the human body’s overall health. From effects on heart disease to respiratory problems, diabetes, infertility, and even cancer, your oral health can play a much bigger role in your overall health than you realize. Let’s talk about the most significant connections and show you just how important your oral health is to your overall well-being.

Connection #1: Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

One of the biggest risks is that poor oral health and periodontitis can create an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The bacteria in your mouth have the ability to enter your arteries and damage them, increasing the risk of plaque build-up in your arteries, which can contribute to atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Don’t risk your cardiovascular health – keep your dental hygiene in check!

Connection #2: Respiratory Infections, Dementia

A few other serious risks to your overall health and well-being are respiratory infections and dementia. Respiratory infections can happen when you have infected or inflamed gums. The bacteria from your infected or inflamed gums can pass from the mouth to the lungs, resulting in respiratory infections, pneumonia, or bronchitis.

On top of that, research shows that gum disease and poor oral health have a noticeable link to Alzheimer’s dementia. Once again, having good oral health can lead to better overall well-being.

Connection #3: Prostate Problems, Diabetes, Infertility

Poor oral health has also been linked to inflammation of the prostate, diabetes (since gum disease can raise blood sugar levels), and infertility in women. Although these health issues can arise for other reasons, if your oral health is in check, you can lower your risk of these serious problems. 

Connection #4: Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Kidney Disease

Several different cancers, like blood cancer or kidney cancer, can have an increased risk of developing in someone with poor oral health and gum disease. Kidney disease is another dangerous condition that can be increased with poor oral health. Kidney disease can contribute to a whole variety of other problems like cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes.

Maintain Your Oral Health – Basic Tips

It’s obvious that poor oral health can have severe consequences in the long run. What can you do to limit your chances of developing these conditions? Of course, you need to maintain proper dental hygiene, which means brushing twice a day for 2 minutes at a time and flossing at least once a day. It is also equally important to have your professional dental cleaning twice a year. Even with keeping up with your oral health at home, everyone gets plaque and tartar buildup, so having a professional evaluate and clean easy-to-miss areas is extremely important.

Try to limit the amount of sugar that is in your diet because sugar is the number one cause of cavities and contributes to an increase in bacteria in your mouth. 

Smoking, vaping and hookah also very much contribute to poor oral health and can contribute to oral cancers. The heat that is introduced to your mouth will essentially “bake” the soft plaque onto your teeth, turning it hard and making it tough to remove without a professional’s help. Because of this, smoking has a strong link to periodontitis, which causes loss of bone support for your teeth and can cause teeth to become loose if it goes on for years unchecked. The heat brought upon by these products also can change the nature of cells in your mouth, which is how cancers start! We have seen an increase in oral cancers over the last few decades with the increased popularity of chewing tobacco, betel nut use, and smoking/smoking products. 

Finally, watching your diet should help you maintain good oral health and hygiene all your life, especially if you follow the above advice. Make sure to visit your dentist twice a year! When visiting your dentist, your dentist will not only take care of your cleaning but also look for developing problems, like cavities, oral cancers, gum disease, and bad breath, allowing you to be aware of them and stopping them from progressing.

A dentist doesn’t expect you to be a tooth expert – that’s what they’re there for – but they do want you to come in so you can get checked and they can make sure everything’s okay.

Keep your oral health up and the above problems shouldn’t plague you – at least not for reasons related to your chompers!

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