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Understanding the Consequences and Impacts of Poor Oral Health

It is common knowledge that good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining overall good health. The mouth is, after all, the gateway to the body, so keeping it healthy is very important.

While most people know that good oral hygiene can help prevent issues like tooth discolouration, halitosis (bad breath), cavities, gum disease and tooth loss, a vast majority are still unaware of the impact poor oral hygiene can have on overall health. 

So, if you haven’t been prioritising your oral health, here are some of the consequences and impacts poor oral hygiene can have on your overall health. To avoid these it’s always recommended visiting a reliable dentist.

Cardiovascular Disease 

Several studies indicate that there is a link between oral health and cardiovascular health. This link is usually periodontal disease which increases the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream and causing (or exacerbating) atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. When this happens, plaque essentially accumulates on the inner walls of the arteries and decreases blood flow which in turn increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Respiratory Infections 

Untreated gum disease can increase your chances of developing respiratory Infections such as; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and pneumonia.


Studies have revealed that men with periodontal disease are more likely to experience issues like erectile dysfunction. Women who do not maintain good oral hygiene and have gum-related diseases may also take a longer time to conceive. 


Bone loss is the common link between periodontal disease and osteoporosis. Usually, the early stages of osteoporosis can be easily identified when bone strength is determined during an oral check-up. Detecting the early signs of osteoporosis can be good as you will immediately start receiving treatment before your jaw bone can weaken and you suffer a potentially debilitating and painful fracture.


Sometimes, the reason why you have some periodontal disease or have been experiencing tooth loss is diabetes. The high blood glucose from diabetes creates an ideal condition for bacteria to grow on your gums and thrive in your mouth. Luckily, if you’re able to control your sugar levels, you will be able to manage periodontitis.


There is a common link between periodontitis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is because of its clinical presentation and pathogenesis. You are 8 times more likely to develop periodontal disease if you have RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis). Both RA and periodontitis are conditions that are characterised by chronic inflammation in the soft-tissue site adjacent to bone. Both conditions will require lifetime management, and maintaining a good dental hygiene routine will be crucial. 

Risk of Cancer

For individuals with periodontal disease, the risk of being diagnosed with cancer has been researched by several experts, and it turns out that men who suffer from gum disease are 30% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer within the blood and nearly 50% more likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic or kidney cancer 


With the consequences of poor oral health, it can’t be any more clear that practising good oral hygiene is a must. In addition to good oral hygiene practices, make sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a full exam, as this will help you detect and treat any potential problems early.


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