How Your Teeth Can Influence Your Overall Health

Your teeth play a bigger role in your overall health than you likely realize. They’re more than just a pearly white smile or a way to eat the right foods. Your teeth play a role in your overall health, and something that seems like a minor toothache could be a sign of cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, diabetes, or even cancer. So the next time you think that skipping the annual dental checkup isn’t a big deal, think again.

Cardiovascular Disease

It may seem strange that your teeth can influence your heart, but they can. Poor oral health puts you at severe risk of heart disease. For instance, if you suffer from periodontal disease, the bacteria from this disease can actually make its way into your bloodstream and cause plaque buildup on your arteries. If all of this happens, it increases your risk of heart attack. According to CK Farr Dentistry, “Your annual oral health checkup does a lot more for your overall health than what you may realize. In some cases, dentists have been the healthcare professionals letting patients know about more serious illnesses as a result of their poor oral health.”

Respiratory Infections

Bacteria in your mouth can not only travel into the bloodstream, but it can also travel into your lungs, causing respiratory infections. If left untreated, these respiratory issues that start off small could lead to more serious problems like COPD, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Kidney Disease

Your kidneys and your teeth may seem far away from each other on your body, but periodontal disease can lead to kidney disease. That’s because periodontal disease will decrease your immune system and make it easier for you to catch an infection. Since kidney disease can impact your blood pressure, bones, and heart, along with your kidneys, it’s not a problem you want to take lightly.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is extremely painful, and as of now, there is no actual cure for the disease. People with gum disease are more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis because both diseases have inflammation in common. Because oral bacteria from diseases like gingivitis can increase inflammation throughout the rest of your body, the chances of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis becomea much higher.

Infertility/Pregnancy Complications

There are far too many people who suffer from infertility and pregnancy complications, and your poor oral hygiene could be the reason. Gum disease can lead to a variety of health issues that can make it extremely difficult for women to become pregnant. As for men, gum disease can lead to erectile dysfunction. This issue can make it hard to get pregnant and also cause other issues to your reproductive system.

In addition, a woman who is pregnant needs to make it a point to take superior care of her oral health. Oral health problems such as gingivitis could result in premature birth or low birth weights in babies.


Forgetfulness can be debilitating, and poor oral health can have a major impact on the brain. Substances released from inflamed gums can actually kill brain cells and create memory loss. If bacteria from gingivitis enters the nerve channels, it could lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.


It may seem as if everything causes cancer, but there are links between cancer and poor oral hygiene. In fact, those who have oral health issues are found to be at higher risk of pancreatic cancer, blood cancer, and kidney cancer. This is due to harmful bacteria from your mouth finding its way into bone, blood, or other bodily systems and causing problems.

How to Prevent Poor Oral Hygiene

Having good oral hygiene is not rocket science. Instead, it just means taking good overall care of your teeth. Brushing your teeth regularly to remove plaque from your gums can help eliminate your risk of gum disease. Flossing and using mouthwash can also ensure you remove harmful bacteria from your mouth. However, the most important thing for you to do for your oral health is to see your dentist regularly. For most people, this is once a year. Allowing a professional to thoroughly inspect your oral health is the best way to prevent further illness or disease.

If you feel like something is wrong with your oral health, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment with your dentist. Even if the issue seems minor, it’s better to take proper care of the issue so it doesn’t turn into something more serious than putting yourself at risk.


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