How Bad Oral Health Affects the Rest of Your Body

Updated on March 2, 2020

People skip out on trips to the dentist for a variety of reasons. They may not understand the importance of seeing a dentist, while others may feel like they can’t afford it. 

According to a 2017 survey conducted by the ADA, only 58% of Americans said that they visit the dentist at least once a year. This number was down 4% from the previous year. 

While people may believe they can get away with not visiting the dentist, the results can be detrimental. Not only does avoiding the dentist affect your oral health, but it can also impact the rest of your body. 

Check out some of the issues that poor oral health can present.

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Unaddressed Gum Infections Can Worsen Diabetes & Lead to Cardiovascular Disease

Long-term gum infections will likely result in the loss of some of your teeth. However, the consequences of unaddressed gum infections may become present elsewhere in your body:

  • Cardiovascular disease: If your gums are infected, you have unwanted bacteria present in your mouth. These bacteria can enter your body and cause inflammation in your arteries. In severe cases, you may develop blood clots and clogged arteries, which can increase your risk for a stroke or heart attack. 
  • Diabetes: Chronic gum disease will make your diabetes more difficult to control. Patients with gum disease tend to develop insulin resistance, which disrupts blood sugar levels and can worsen diabetes. 
  • Preterm birth: Infected gums have been known to increase the risk of a woman delivering her baby early and at a low weight. Infected gums carry toxins, which can be transported to a fetus via the mother’s bloodstream and lead to preterm birth. 

Misaligned Teeth May Lead to Headaches, Jaw Pain, & Other Issues

Most people view misaligned teeth as a cosmetic issue. While this is true, crooked or irregularly spaced teeth can affect the rest of your body. 

According to the Ontario-based practice Vellore Woods Dentistry, misaligned teeth can lead to several issues. For example, you may experience difficulty with chewing. This can impact your diet. Also, the strain you experience with chewing may lead to headaches and neck, back, and jaw pain. 

Get in touch today with a qualified dentist to learn more about how remediating misaligned teeth can benefit your overall health!

People with Compromised Immune Systems Will Be Greatly Impacted by Oral Bacteria

Staying on top of your oral health is especially important if you have a compromised immune system due to a cancer treatment or certain disease. 

People in good health usually won’t be affected by oral bacteria in their bloodstreams. However, if you have a compromised immune system, you may develop infections more easily if your mouth is ridden with oral bacteria due to unaddressed infections. One of the most common examples of this is infective endocarditis. This occurs when oral bacteria enter your blood and sticks to the endocardium. In someone with poor health, this disease may lead to issues like:

  • Petechiae
  • Fever
  • Heart murmurs

Visit a dentist so he or she can address your oral health and protect the rest of your body from developing infections. 

Take Charge of Your Oral Health to Promote Your General Health

If you thought that poor oral health can only result in yellow teeth, you are wrong. By taking charge of your oral health, you will be doing your entire body a favor. Take initiative and schedule your next dental visit if it isn’t already on your calendar. 

After your next visit, schedule another one for the recommended six months out. Don’t be afraid to pay more frequent visits if you have ongoing problems with your oral health. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.