Maida Smiles (W. London)

Tel: 020 3974 1777

29 Jun

How Can Poor Oral Health Affect The Rest Of The Body?


Having poor dental health can affect more than just teeth.

There are links between poor oral hygiene and serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. While it doesn’t need to be onerous, we find the patients with the best oral hygiene are simply those who develop solid routines that ensure consistent and regular levels of care.

It’s easy to forget that our mouths are a pathway for bacteria to enter the body. From this point, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream or respiratory and digestive tracts, causing infection, inflammation and complications in other parts of our body.

Here is a brief overview of wider health complications from poor oral hygiene. While some of these are on the more end of the spectrum, they present a stark reminder of the importance of good oral care.

Wider health complications arising from poor oral health:

  • Respiratory Infections: If you have infected or inflamed gums, bacteria can transfer into the lungs, leading to respiratory infections, pneumonia, or even bronchitis.
  • Dementia: Inflamed gums can also release substances harmful to brain cells, including bacteria that can spread to the nerves, resulting in memory loss.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Bacteria from infected gums can enter the bloodstream and cause a plaque build-up in the arteries, putting people at risk for a heart attack.
  • Prostate Problems: If men suffer from periodontal disease, they may also have prostatitis, causing irritation and other prostate-related problems.
  • Diabetes: Gum disease can lead to higher blood sugar levels, putting a person at risk for developing diabetes. Unregulated blood sugar levels can also make diabetes difficult to control.
  • Infertility: Women suffering from gum disease can experience issues with infertility and may find it difficult to conceive or have a healthy pregnancy.
  • Cancer: Poor oral health can put patients at risk of kidney, pancreatic, or blood cancer. In addition, if patients smoke or use tobacco products, this can lead to oral or throat cancers.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Bacteria in our mouths can increase inflammation in the body, increasing the risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Kidney Disease: Patients with gum disease typically have weaker immune systems, which can make them susceptible to infection. Many patients with poor oral health also have kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure if not treated.

What is the solution?

Many good habits can be adopted daily to ensure strong preventative action against unwanted oral health complaints and dreaded gum disease. Most patients will be well aware of general dentistry advice to brush and floss their teeth twice daily and use mouthwash, which contains fluoride.

We recommend avoiding food and drinks containing lots of sugar while refraining from tobacco products. We recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles are splayed or worn.

By adopting a consistent and regular oral health routine, most people can prevent problems such as gingivitis or periodontal disease and never have to fear them developing. Scheduling regular dental exams with a professional is also highly recommended to ensure you identify any issues before they become more significant.

If you have any concerns, a member of the Maida Smiles team is always on hand to deliver a highly personalised plan to suit your smile. Our team provides the highest dental care for patients of all ages.