How Your Oral Health Can Impact Your Overall Health

Proper oral care is very important. If you don’t properly care for your teeth, it can result in severe tooth decay. If the decay is severe, a root canal might be necessary. If the tooth is extremely decayed, the tooth might need to be extracted. Poor oral health can also result in gum disease. If the gum disease is severe, it can eat away at the bone, making the teeth in the area loose and eventually, they will fall out. Not only does tooth loss have a negative effect on your appearance, it can also hurt your self-esteem. If the decay gets this bad, you would need the help of a dentist in Richmond who specializes in cosmetic dentistry to replace the missing teeth with a partial bridge or a dental implant. Most people know what poor oral health can do to their teeth and gums, however, most people don’t know that poor oral health can have a negative effect on your overall health. There are certain conditions that can be caused if you don’t care for your teeth properly.

Cardiovascular Disease

Poor oral health can result in heart disease. Gum disease and periodontal disease can cause inflammation and the growth of bacteria. If this bacteria enters the bloodstream, it can travel through the arteries in your heart and cause them to harden. This is called atherosclerosis. This condition can cause plaque to develop in the walls on the inside of the arteries. When the plaque thickens, it can keep the blood from flowing properly through the body. This can put you at great risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. The bacteria can also build up in the heart causing endocarditis. This is a condition where the heart becomes infected and inflamed. The best way to protect your heart health is to see your dentist every six months as recommended by the American Heart Association.


Poor oral health can also have a dangerous effect on your brain. If you have gingivitis, the bacteria that builds up in your mouth can travel to your brain through your bloodstream or through the nerve channels in your head. When it reaches the brain, it can cause you to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Respiratory Infections

Gum disease can result in an infection in your lungs such as pneumonia. Most people don’t get the link between poor oral health and breathing, however, it is relatively simple. When you have bacteria in your mouth, you are breathing it into your lungs each time you inhale. Over time, the bacteria can build up, resulting in a serious infection. Regular cleanings will prevent gum disease and it will keep your lungs healthy.

Complications For Diabetics

If you don’t care for your teeth properly, your gums will become inflamed and periodontal disease often occurs. These two conditions can make it harder for you to control your blood sugar regardless of how careful you are. This can worsen your diabetes symptoms. Also, many diabetics are more susceptible to developing periodontal disease. It is especially important for diabetics to care for their teeth properly.

Care For Your Teeth Properly

If you want your smile to look great for years and years, you need to take good care of your teeth. The same is true if you want to protect your heart, your lungs, and your brain. Good oral hygiene isn’t very difficult nor is it too time-consuming. If you can spare just 9 minutes a day and two hours a year, you can have perfect teeth. The following tips will ensure a healthy mouth and a healthy body.

• Brush your teeth for at least three minutes, three times a day. It is best to use an electric toothbrush and a tartar fighting toothpaste. You should brush in the morning, in the afternoon, and before you go to bed.
• Flossing is very important to the health of your gums. You don’t need to floss every time you brush your teeth, however, you should be flossing every day.
• After you brush, you should be rinsing with mouthwash. A bacteria-killing mouthwash will get rid of any bacteria that you missed while brushing your teeth.
• According to the American Dental Association, you should visit the dentist every six months. During each visit, your teeth would be cleaned. Regardless of how well you brush, there are areas of the mouth that you cannot reach with your toothbrush, therefore, a professional cleaning is important. Once a year, your dentist will take an x-ray of your teeth to check if you have any cavities. The sooner the cavity is detected and filled, the less damage it can do to the tooth.

Proper dental care is important not only for your appearance and your self-esteem, it can also keep you healthy for years to come.