Importance of Good Dental Health to Your Overall Health

Good oral health is about more than just having great-looking, pain-free teeth and gums. You may be surprised to find out how the condition of your mouth is so closely linked to your overall wellness!

Why is Dental Care So Important?

Proper oral care will keep your teeth and gums in good condition.  It will also fend off other diseases that are known to be caused by the spread of oral bacteria into the rest of the body.

What Kind of Health Problems Can Bad Teeth & Poor Oral Health Cause?

Inflammation and infection caused by bad teeth and poor oral health can result in other systemic health problems and progression of underlying medical concerns. You should be aware of the following possibilities:

Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease has been linked to periodontal (gum) disease. The same bacteria from your mouth can get into the bloodstream, causing your arteries to accumulate plaque and harden, causing a very serious condition that leads to blood flow problems and heart blockages. People that experience this oral condition have an increased chance of suffering from a heart attack.

It can also cause high blood pressure and increase your risk of having a stroke. Furthermore, the lining of the heart may become infected, which is often fatal.


Studies have shown that Dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease are linked with gum disease. The bacteria from inflamed gums and oral infections can enter the bloodstream and spread to the nerve channels, potentially killing brain cells and leading to memory loss.

Respiratory Infections

Bacteria in the mouth from infected teeth and swollen gums can be inhaled into the lungs and move around throughout the bloodstream – resulting in pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and COPD.


Diabetics should take extra care in ensuring they maintain good oral health, since they are more susceptible to developing periodontal disease. Gum disease is harder to keep under control in a person that has diabetes, versus one that doesn’t, because it can cause blood sugar levels to spike above normal.

Pregnancy Complications

A lot takes place within the woman’s body during pregnancy. Oral health problems in pregnant women have been shown to increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight in infants.


We all know that using tobacco increases the chance of oral and throat cancers. Gum disease has been linked to other types of cancer as well. The possibility of kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers are much higher for people with poor oral health.

Kidney Disease

Gum disease can compromise the immune system, making it easier to acquire infections. Repeated kidney infections lead to kidney disease, which can be fatal.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

People with gum disease are four times more likely to have Rheumatoid Arthritis. The oral bacteria from gingivitis can increase inflammation throughout the body. With Rheumatoid Arthritis being an inflammatory disease, individuals that have both of these conditions will typically experience worse symptoms.

How Does Oral Health Affect Overall Health?

As you can see, systemic health conditions and poor oral health are closely related. Oral infections from your mouth can enter the bloodstream and affect your immune system – so it’s best to take the proper preventive measures to stay healthy.

How to Maintain Good Dental Hygiene

In order to maintain a healthy mouth, you should have a good daily, home oral hygiene routine.  Brushing after meals, flossing once a day, and visiting our Sarnia dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups will help prevent problems from arising.

What Do Regular Dental Checkups Do to Help?

During your dental check-up at Dr. Karen Davis Dentistry in Sarnia, we’ll closely examine your teeth for signs of decay and infection.  If problems are caught and handled early, your overall health won’t be affected.

Get Professional Help

No matter how many times a day you brush your teeth, there will always be areas your toothbrush can’t reach.  Visit us at Dr. Karen Davis Dentistry in Sarnia at least twice per year for a professional cleaning. We’re here to help you enjoy a healthier smile and lifestyle in whatever way we can. Call today!

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