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The Effects of Poor Dental Care on Overall Health

You probably understand that poor dental care leads to cavities but did you know that there are more serious health problems that can result from poor oral care? The bottom line is if you don't take proper care of your teeth there are far more serious consequences than a simple toothache or some unsightly stains.

The Mayo Clinic has highlighted some major concerns:

Cardiovascular disease:

This translates into heart disease. Bacteria from inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease enters your bloodstream and can travel to the arteries and the heart and cause atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis causes plaque to develop on the inner walls of the arteries, which thicken and this decreases our blocks blood flow through the body. This can cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. The inner lining of the heart can also become affected and inflamed and this is a condition that is known as endocarditis.


The bacteria from gingivitis can enter the brain through nerve channels in the head and through the bloodstream and this can lead to a development of Alzheimer's disease.

Respiratory infections:

The Journal of Periodonology warns us that gum disease can cause you to get infections in your lungs, which include pneumonia. The connection might not be completely obvious but if you think about breathing bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a long period time it helps understanding.

Diabetic complications:

Inflammation of the gum tissue and periodontal disease makes it harder to control your blood sugar and therefore your diabetes symptoms worsen. People who suffer from diabetes are susceptible to periodontal disease so is important for proper dental care even more so with those with this disease.

Brushing and flossing keep your teeth healthy but they also prevent serious illnesses. Poor dental care is a possible factor in these other conditions and immune system disorders, weak bones and problems of pregnancy and low birth weight.

Establish good hygiene habits

The message should be loud and clear. One should practice proper dental care, as it is important in many ways that you may have not thought of before. Make sure your entire family practices good oral hygiene and brushes after every meal and floss is daily and uses a mouth rinse to kill bacteria. You should also see your dental professional regularly for cleanings and treatment of cavities. Protecting your teeth can save your life.