Health issues caused by poor dental hygiene


Oral health includes not only the health of your mouth, gums, and teeth but much more than that. As your mouth is the primary gateway to your body, bad oral health can adversely affect your entire body. When your teeth start aching, gum starts bleeding, and breath starts smelling bad, it indicates bad oral health. Bacteria from your mouth can enter into your bloodstream and lead to infection and inflammation. 

It is vital to exercise good oral hygiene and regular dental health checkups to prevent any risk to your overall health.


Here are a few common health issues that are caused by poor dental hygiene:

  • Cardiovascular disease: When you have bad oral health, it puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease. The bacteria that inflamed your gums, leading to periodontal disease, can enter the bloodstream, causing plaque buildup and hardening of arteries. This hardening of arteries is known as atherosclerosis and is a severe condition. It causes problems in blood flow and heart blockages, enhancing the risk of a heart attack. The damaging effect on arteries and blood vessels can result in hypertension and enhances the risk of strokes. It also leads to bacterial endocarditis, another fatal condition where the valve and the lining of your heart are infected. You can prevent gum disease by getting your teeth cleaned professionally. This decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps keep your oral health strong and healthy.


  • Respiratory infections: Bad oral health can also lead to conditions in your respiratory systems. When you breathe bacteria from the infected teeth and gums into your lungs or when they travel through the bloodstream, it causes respiratory infections. Some of the common ailments are pneumonia, COPD, acute bronchitis, etc.


  • Diabetes: It is a common belief that a diabetic person is highly susceptible to a gum infection that leads to periodontal disease. But someone having periodontal disease finds it difficult to control diabetes. Symptoms start worsening when sugar levels go haywire due to gum disease. A diabetic person needs to take proper care of their oral health to prevent illness & complications. As gum disease can cause high blood sugar levels, an individual with bad oral health is at enhanced risk of diabetes.


  • Dementia: Bad oral health can also affect the brain. Few substances are released from an infected gum that can diminish the brain cells and result in memory loss. Dementia and also Alzheimer's disease is sometimes caused by gingivitis when mouth bacteria spreads to your nerve channels or enters your bloodstream.


  • Erectile dysfunction: A man with bad oral hygiene is more susceptible to erectile dysfunction. Periodontal disease is highly related to erectile dysfunction in a man. When your gums pull away from your teeth, it causes CPD that forms a pocket that carries bacteria, allowing bugs to reach the bone surrounding your teeth. Bacteria from an infected gum also enters the bloodstream and inflames blood vessels. Such inflammation blocks the blood flow to the genital, thereby causing erections to be difficult and sometimes impossible.


  • Infertility issues: There is also a strong link between your oral health and infertility issues in women. Gum diseases can result in several health issues that make it very difficult for any woman to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. 


  • Complications in pregnancy: All expectant mothers need to maintain oral hygiene. Hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy cause women to develop oral infections quickly and easily. When there is an infection in a pregnant mother's body, it enhances her risk of getting pregnancy complications. Oral health issues in mothers like periodontitis or gingivitis can result in premature birth and sometimes low birth weight. 


  • Oral/Throat Cancer: Bad oral health caused by smoking or tobacco use can result in oral and throat cancers. Gum diseases also cause some other kinds of cancer. Poor oral health can increase the risk of getting kidney, blood, and pancreatic cancer.


  • Rheumatoid arthritis: People suffering from gum diseases are more susceptible to Rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation occurs in both conditions. For someone suffering from gingivitis, their oral bacteria can cause inflammation all through the body. This increases the chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis, a very painful and unbearable inflammatory disease.


  • Kidney disease: Chronic kidney disease affects your kidneys, blood pressure, bones, and heart. Some oral conditions like periodontitis can result in kidney disease. People having gum disease have a weak immune system and get infections quickly. Poor oral health can cause kidney problems easily, which sometimes become fatal.

How to prevent your health issues caused by inadequate oral health?

You can prevent health issues resulting from poor oral health by practicing good oral hygiene practices and by scheduling on-time visits to your dentist. Here are a few good practices to maintain oral health:

    • Brush your teeth and gum at least twice daily
    • Floss your teeth regularly
    • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco products
    • Make use of toothpaste and mouthwash that consist of fluoride
    • Put a limitation on sugary foods and drinks
    • Consume a balanced diet to get good nutrition
    • Consume supplements that boost your oral health
  • Drink water adequately to keep your mouth moist

Your mouth is the gateway to your body, and keep in mind that there is a strong link between your oral and overall health. When you maintain proper oral hygiene, it helps in lowering the risk of getting other health issues.

So, maintain good oral health and select a good dentist from MyDentalPlan to keep an eye on your dental health. See your dentist twice a year or as required. They offer you a high-powered dental cleaning, assist in keeping your gums healthy, and give answers to all of your oral health queries you might have in your mind.




About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.



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