Health Problems Caused by Bad Oral Hygiene

It has become apparent over the past two decades that bad oral health can cause many serious ailments, which include heart disease and dementia. The mouth is the primary gateway to the body.Therefore, it is important to adopt good oral hygiene practices, as poor oral health can have a negative impact on your overall health. Toothache, gum infection and bad breath can all cause physical issues, and with that in mind, here are just a few of the medical issues that are caused by poor oral health.

Heart Disease

Bad oral hygiene can see the onset of plaque build up, which can cause gum disease, and this can result in cholesterol build up in the arteries. If you are concerned about the risks of heart disease, contact your dentist in Everton Park or in your local area and arrange for a comprehensive oral examination, and by following good oral hygiene practices, you can minimise the risk of heart disease.

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Bad oral hygiene can have a negative effect on the brain, as the substances generated by infected gums can enter the bloodstream and this can kill brain cells. Gingivitis is known to produce bacteria that can have an adverse effect on the brain, and while there is no hard evidence, research suggests that there is a link between gingivitis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Respiratory Infections

Halitosis (bad breath) can send bacteria into the lungs and it can then enter the bloodstream. Ask any dentist and they will tell you that a person’s mouth is a window into their overall well-being and even a small dental issue can have knock-on effects for the body. This bacteria can react with the lung tissue and cause a separate infection, such as pneumonia or even acute bronchitis.

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People with diabetes are more prone to infection, and gum disease can make it more difficult to control diabetes, adding to the complication. When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, the doctor stresses the importance of good oral hygiene and would even give them a list of foods to avoid, hygiene practices to adopt and information about correct brushing and flossing.


Oral cancer is commonly caused by long term smoking of tobacco, and there is evidence to show that many forms of cancer are linked to poor oral hygiene. You are at higher risk of contracting kidney cancer if you have oral hygiene issues, and very often, oral hygiene is the first thing a doctor will look at in a patient.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is definitely a link between rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease – according to research, you are four times more likely to suffer with rheumatoid arthritis if you have some form of gum disease. The oral bacteria created by gingivitis can increase inflammation throughout the body, making the condition more painful.Image Source: Unsplash

All of the above conditions can be affected by poor oral health, which is why you should adopt best practices, with correct brushing and flossing, scraping the tongue and the use of antiseptic mouthwash. Regular dental examinations will ensure that any issues are promptly dealt with, and with a routine in place, good oral care will soon become second nature.