We all know that practising good dental hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent oral health conditions such as tooth decay, enamel erosion and gingivitis from occurring throughout our entire lives. What many may not know however is that good dental hygiene also has a direct correlation to our overall health and wellbeing. As well as preventing bad breath and toothaches, good oral health also significantly reduces your risk of certain diseases, conditions and can greatly improve your quality of life. In today’s article, we have a look at 6 health issues that can be prevented with good oral health, so read on to find out more!

Cardiovascular Disease

When one thinks of cardiovascular disease, chances are oral health is last on the list of culprits in most of our minds. However, did you know that poor oral health can lead to a higher risk of heart disease in people of all ages? When it comes to inflamed gums and periodontal disease, the main culprit is bacteria. That same bacteria if left untreated for a prolonged period of time can eventually migrate into your bloodstream and cause your arteries to build up plaque and harden. 

Also known as atherosclerosis, clogged arteries are a very serious condition that can lead to heart blockages and heart attacks. The damaging impact that this can have on the arteries and blood vessels can also lead to hypertension and increase the risk for strokes. The solution? Make sure that you attend your routine dental checkups and practise excellent oral hygiene instead of waiting till the last minute and having to run to an emergency dentist

Respiratory Issues

One of the results of poor oral health can be respiratory issues. Unfortunately, your respiratory system can suffer immensely when bacteria from infected teeth and swollen gums finds its way to the lungs or into the bloodstream. This can cause potentially fatal conditions such as respiratory infections, acute bronchitis and pneumonia. If you find that you have been having a toothache or are suffering from gingivitis, it is always recommended that you visit your dentist as soon as possible. 

Dementia Prevention

Dementia is a crippling condition that hundreds of thousands of people suffer from all over the world. Whilst there are a number of ways to reduce your risk of experiencing dementia, ensuring good oral health is one of the best ways of doing so. This is because poor oral health can kill brain cells when they come into contact with substances from infected teeth and gums. This can result in severe memory loss, dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease. The best way to prevent gingivitis or bacteria in the mouth from spreading is to book an appointment with your dentist who will be able to map out a clear and effective treatment plan for your individual situation. 

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a very serious health problem that not only affects your kidneys but also your bones, heart and blood pressure. Did you know that infections in the body such as periodontal disease can actually lead to a much higher risk of kidney disease? Classically, people with advanced gum disease tend to have a weaker immune system making them much more prone to infections and kidney disease. Do keep in mind that kidney disease left untreated or unmanaged can be fatal and lead to kidney failure down the road. If that’s not another reason to take good care of your oral health, we don’t know what is!

Pregnancy Complications

It is imperative that expecting mothers take extra precaution when it comes to their oral health. This is because hormonal changes during pregnancy make women more prone to oral infections which can then lead to unwanted pregnancy complications. Conditions such as periodontitis and gingivitis have been known to be a risk factor for issues such as low birth weight or even premature birth, putting the health of both mother and baby at risk for experiencing serious health issues.

Deadly Diabetes

Studies have shown that people suffering from diabetes already are more susceptible than the average person when it comes to suffering from periodontal disease. Unfortunately, periodontal disease can, in turn, make diabetes a lot more difficult to control. It is therefore imperative for diabetics to take excellent care of their oral health in order to prevent complications with their disease. Gum disease can also lead to higher than average blood sugar levels, putting one at an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Scheduling regular visits with your dentist is the best way to ensure that you’re keeping on track with your oral health goals. Practising good dental hygiene is key when it comes to not just your oral health but also your overall health and wellbeing. We hope that this article has given you some valuable insight into the importance of good oral hygiene practices. 

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Dental Hygiene: The Key to Full Body Health," in Medicalopedia, January 13, 2021, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9508/dental-hygiene-the-key-to-full-body-health/].