Lifestyle/ Travel

The Importance Of Having A Healthy Mouth And Good Dental Hygiene

Major Health Conditions Caused By Poor Dental Hygiene

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Photo credit: Jamie Brown

Regular dental hygiene is important for so many reasons. It’s not just a matter of fresh breath and white, clean teeth. Many people are unaware of the serious consequences poor dental hygiene can lead to. Dental issues are connected to many major health conditions, and the more you know about the dangers of poor dental health, the better. 

  1. Cardiovascular disease

Believe it or not, poor dental health could lead to heart disease. When gums get infected by bacteria, it causes periodontal issues. However, the same bacteria could easily make its way to your bloodstream, causing the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Arteries can then get hardened, which is a serious condition called atherosclerosis. This condition can lead to a heart attack as it causes problems with blood flow. 

Also, the damages of the arteries can also lead to hypertension and an increased risk of a stroke. Endocarditis is also a potential danger, and it occurs when the lining of the heart gets infected. 

  1. Diabetic complications

If your gums get infected, leading to periodontal issues, it could interfere with your body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. In other words, if you are a diabetic, your symptoms could get worse. As a diabetic, you need to take additional care of your gums and teeth because your condition makes you more susceptible to periodontal problems, which could eventually lead to teeth loss.  

doctor holding stethoscope
Photo credit: Arvin Chingcuangco


  1. Dementia

Inflamed gums can release certain substances to your brain, killing brain cells, which could ultimately lead to memory loss. In case you have gingivitis, the bacteria from your mouth can reach your nerve channels, which could cause dementia or even Alzheimer’s. 

  1. Kidney disease

Periodontal disease can easily lead to kidney disease, which is a very serious condition due to the fact that it also affects your heart, bones and blood pressure. In general, people with gum problems also have a weak immune system, which makes them more prone to various infections. Kidney issues are a very serious problem as they can lead to kidney failure or fatal cardiovascular disease. 

  1. Respiratory infections

Your respiratory system can also suffer due to poor oral hygiene. The worst thing to do is not to visit a dentist immediately when you notice a dental problem. Infected teeth and swollen gums are full of bacteria that can get into your lungs through the bloodstream or when keep inhaling the bacteria directly into your lungs for a longer period of time. The bacteria in the lungs can then cause various respiratory infections, including acute bronchitis, pneumonia and COPD.  

woman wearing yellow bra
Photo credit: Liz Sanchez-Vegas


  1. Infertility and pregnancy issues

A connection between poor oral health and infertility problems has been proven. Gum diseases, in some cases, could decrease the fertility in women. If you don’t treat your gum problems, you could also find it very difficult to conceive. You could even make it more difficult to sustain the pregnancy. Pregnancy complications are possible if you are experiencing any gum infection. Gingivitis and periodontitis have long been known to cause premature birth, as well as low weight in infants. 

  1. Erectile dysfunction

Poor oral health could also cause problems in men regarding their erectile function. If you let your periodontal problems persist for a long period of time, it could lead to erectile dysfunction. CPD is a type of infection that appears when gums pull away from the teeth. That leads to the formation of pockets inside which bacteria multiply and then spread to the bone near the teeth. Also, bacteria can lead to inflammation of the blood vessels if they get into the bloodstream, which could block the blood flow to the genitals. The result is an erection that’s difficult or even impossible to achieve. 

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society has stated that people who have trouble with gum disease are at higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (up to 4 times higher). The inflammation in the mouth the culprit for this condition. If you have gingivitis, the oral bacteria that’s causing it could spread the inflammation all over your body. Rheumatoid is a likely result – it is a very painful disease that makes you weaker and decreases your ability to move freely. 

black and gray stethoscope.
Photo credit: Hush Naidoo


  1. Cancer

Of course, smoking and using tobacco products could cause throat and oral cancer, but those not the only causes of cancer. Gum disease can also lead to some other types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, blood cancer and kidney cancer. It has been proven that poor oral health could significantly increase the risk of developing one of these types of cancer. 

Final comment 

Taking proper care of our teeth will not only guarantee us healthy, white teeth and fresh breath but it will also keep us safe from many other serious conditions. Treat your teeth and gums with great care. 

About The Writer

Mia Johnson is a freelance writer with a ten-year long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourn, she now lives in Sidney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.

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