The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Your oral health and overall health can influence your entire health. Oral health includes the healthy function of all the organs in your body, such as the eyes, lungs, kidneys, heart and bones. Healthy oral hygiene is necessary for preventing tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. Learn why maintaining the health of your teeth, gums and mouth can directly affect your overall health.

oral health and overall health


Oral health is linked to your overall health. Poor oral hygiene is linked to periodontal disease, which is associated with tooth loss. Poor oral health can also be linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Some prescription drugs, including decongestant, antihistamine, pain killers, diuretic and antidepressants can cause dry mouth. Therefore, regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash can help prevent tooth loss and promote good oral health.

Gum disease is also linked to overall health. Periodontal disease is a condition where the gums start to change and lose their white color. In periodontitis, the gums become inflamed and infected, and this can progress to abscess, which causes severe damage to the tooth and the underlying bone. Gum infection is a common problem for people with diabetes and people who have undergone surgery.

Poor oral health and systemic illness are linked to inflammatory diseases. These diseases include arthritis and systemic Lupus erythematosus. An inflammation within the joints can make it difficult for the body to properly digest and absorb food, which can lead to weight gain and poor nutrition. In addition, poor immune system function can weaken the body's defenses against infections, which can be passed on to an infant during childbirth. Systemic Lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by an inflammation of the face, neck, hands, arms, knees or hips.

One of the indicators of poor oral health and systemic illness is premature birth. Women who deliver prematurely are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Other indicators of poor oral health and systemic illness include low birth weight, preterm delivery, low birth length and premature birth. Premature birth is linked to many neonatal infections such as urinary tract infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, measles, meningitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.

Healthy gums and mouth are important factors in preventing cavities and improving oral health and overall health. Dentists recommend brushing three times each day and flossing daily. Daily flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Oral irrigation removes bacteria, tartar and plaque from the teeth and keeps the mouth clean and free of disease causing bacteria.

Poor oral health and systemic illness are linked to dehydration. Diuretics, which decrease urine production, worsen conditions due to inflammation. When there is fluid reduction in the body, bacteria proliferate and cause infection. Saliva is a natural antiseptic and cleanses the mouth. With fewer germs in the mouth, there is less opportunity for disease causing bacteria to develop. Maintaining proper levels of saliva helps prevent salivary overflow and excessive salivation.

The immune system plays a key role in maintaining good oral health and overall health. If the immune system is impaired, you are more likely to contract a disease. Immune system disorders are associated with a number of diseases including arthritis, allergies, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, thyroid disorders, stroke, and kidney disorders. Individuals who have compromised immune systems are more prone to illness.

There is also strong evidence linking poor dental care to several types of disease including periodontitis, gingivitis, cavities, periodontitis, and periodontitis. If not taken care of properly, gum disease can progress into periodontitis, which leads to heart disease. Poor oral health and overall health can be linked to poor mouth management as well.

It is important to brush and floss every day. The bacteria that cause gum disease hide in dark, damp areas so regular toothpaste and flossing are important elements of good oral hygiene. Brushing removes plaque, but not all plaque. Toothpastes containing triclosan have been linked to the development of cancer. Flossing removes plaque, but not all of it.

Poor oral health and overall health are associated with a number of other symptoms as well. Missing teeth, gum disease, and cavities make it difficult to eat properly and talk properly. Smokers often have trouble with oral health as well since smoking reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth and dries out the gums. Overall, good oral hygiene is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle and good health.