You don’t have to ace an anatomy course to figure out that the various parts of the body are connected. But it does raise a question. If an unhealthy mouth can have disastrous consequences for your smile, what impact can it have on the rest of your body? Could poor oral health put your overall health at risk? Here is a list of the various health conditions linked to dental troubles.

Men, Women, and Oral Health Risks

Problems with your oral and dental health can put your overall health at risk. Statistically, men are more likely to neglect their oral hygiene, which can increase the chance of dental dilemmas. They’re also at higher risk of oral and throat cancers. What about women? Hormonal changes throughout their lives can make things complicated and lead to periods of increased risk. Working with their dentist can help.

Health Conditions Linked to Dental Troubles

Healthy teeth and gums are vital for a beautiful smile. However, the importance of good oral care is far greater. The mouth can serve as a gateway for the entire body. Bacteria that breach the defenses there aren’t limited to causing dental diseases like cavities, gum disease, and abscesses. If they go unchecked, they can cause a host of serious overall health problems:

  • Respiratory infections. Bacteria from the mouth can make their way into the bloodstream and reach the lungs. Once there, it can prompt infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, or other issues.
  • Diabetes. Gum disease causes blood sugar levels to rise, so it can increase your chances of developing diabetes.
  • Dementia. Gingivitis might be linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. When infections trigger inflammation, gums release substances that can kill brain cells, causing memory loss.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Bacteria that escape the mouth and leak into the bloodstream can have real consequences. It can harden the arteries, increasing the risk of a heart attack. It can also cause hypertension, increasing the risk of strokes. The bacteria can even infect the heart, a condition called endocarditis.
  • Cancer. Poor oral hygiene is linked to oral cancer and throat. It’s also linked to kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and blood cancers.
  • Pregnancy complications. Hormonal issues increase a pregnant woman’s chance of developing oral infections. Unfortunately, any infection raises the risk of an underweight or premature baby.
  • Infertility for women. Poor dental health can make both conceiving and sustaining a pregnancy more difficult.
  • Erectile dysfunction. Experts suspect that chronic gum disease provides an entry point for bacteria. Then, it causes inflammation throughout the body, including in places that block the blood flow needed to achieve an erection.

Oral Health is Critical

Taking care of our oral health is definitely linked to our overall health. By understanding the correlation, we can make better decisions about our health. It can be as simple as scheduling a regular dental cleaning. These regular dental cleanings can help prevent dental diseases that put your health at risk.

Wekiva Dental is an Orlando dentist office that’s ready to assist you with all your family’s oral health needs. Our friendly, knowledgeable team offers a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry services in a warm, welcoming environment. Contact us today to set up an appointment.