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How Does Oral Health Help Your Overall Health

Waterloo Dentist-Forest Hill Family Dental

Taking the right steps to keep your mouth clean can help prevent tooth decay, bad breath, gum disease, and support the rest of your body stay healthy. A clean mouth can help ward off other medical disorders, while an unhealthy mouth could increase your risk of various health problems such as stroke and heart attack. Understanding the importance of good oral health and its connection to your overall health is crucial to keeping your body in good condition.


Your mouth is a window into what is going on with the rest of your body and is often used to detect early signs of disease. Conditions like diabetes first demonstrate itself as mouth lesions. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90% of diseases produce oral symptoms.

The mouth as an infection source

Plaque can build up along your gums if you do not brush and floss regularly, creating the perfect environment for more bacteria to form. This type of gum infection is called gingivitis, and it can lead to a worse disease called periodontitis if left unchecked.


A disease from your mouth can find its way into your bloodstream through invasive dental treatments or even from routine brushing and flossing if you have gum disease. Antibiotics can also disrupt the balance of bacteria in your mouth, compromising your mouth’s defence system. Typically, this is not an issue when you have a healthy immune system. But, if you have a compromised immune system from disease or cancer treatment, your body cannot fight the bacteria off as well. This can cause you to develop an infection in another part of your body.

Plaque’s effect

Most people know that gum infection can lead to the loss of your teeth, but it can also cause issues all over your body. Research has proven a link between gum disease and the following conditions:


Diabetes – You are already at an increased risk of getting gum disease if you have diabetes, but gum disease can also make diabetes more difficult to control. Infection can cause insulin resistance, which can disrupt your body’s ability to control blood sugar levels.


Cardiovascular disease – Gingivitis might play a part in blood clots and clogged arteries. Bacteria in your mouth could cause inflammation throughout your body – including your arteries. Inflammation could be the root cause for the development of buildup in the arteries, increasing your risk of stroke and heart attack. The more severe the infection, the higher the risk.


Preterm birth – Severe gum disease could increase the chance of premature birth and low birth weight in babies. According to The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, as much as 18% of premature births could be the result of oral infections. Researchers think that oral bacteria has toxins in it that reach the baby through the placenta and interfere with the development of the fetus.


If there were not enough reasons to take better care of your teeth, gums, and mouth, now the relationship between your oral health and your overall health should. Good oral hygiene practices will keep your mouth in pristine condition and the rest of your body as well. Call Forest Hill Family Dental, your local waterloo dentists to schedule a checkup today and make sure your health is protected.