Oral cleanser for good oral health Bottle and glass of mouthwash on bath shelf with blurred toothbrush and toothpaste in foreground

4 Serious Health Issues Caused by Poor Oral Health

Bad teeth are more worrisome than not having a perfect smile. A person’s teeth do have an impact on their health, and this impact goes well beyond what most people think. Your teeth are an indicator of health, and damaged or even crooked teeth can cause you serious health problems.

What Health Problems Do Bad Teeth Cause?

1. Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is often indicated by bleeding gums and swollen gums. It often results in infections of the structures around your teeth. Periodontal disease can, according to recent studies, lead to high risks of:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory issues

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to follow a proper brushing schedule. Use the best electric toothbrush, visit the dentist and follow a professional teeth cleaning schedule.

2. Respiratory Infections

Your teeth are the gateway to your stomach. Bacteria and infections in your gums can lead to you having respiratory problems. The Journal of Periodontology claims that over time, infected gums and teeth can lead to:

  • Infections in your respiratory tract
  • Pulmonary disease
  • COPD
  • Pneumonia

This is a severe case, and a routine dental cleaning is often the best way to determine if you have tooth decay and infections that are bad enough to have a serious impact on health.

3. Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious issue that is impacting 9.4% of the U.S. population. There is a direct link between diabetes and bad dental health. This link works in both directions. People with bad dental hygiene and poor diets often eat sugary foods that are bad for their teeth.

Diabetics also have a compromised immune system, and this makes them more susceptible to developing bacterial infections.

Bad teeth and severe gum disease also make it more difficult to maintain blood sugar control. Lack of blood sugar control leads to a higher risk of developing diabetes.

4. Dementia

Brain health is also tied to your teeth. A surprising link between oral health and dementia has been made. Tooth loss in seniors was found to be linked to people that have poor walking speeds and poor performance in memory.

A report on dementia and tooth health can be found at the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Dental health has also been linked to endocarditis, cardiovascular disease and pregnancy issues. Endocarditis is when the inner lining of a person’s heart is infected from bacteria from other parts of the body.

Bacteria in the mouth can make its way into a person’s bloodstream and attach to the heart.

Some research, and more needs to be conducted, has found that heart disease may also be affected by gum and tooth health. Oral bacteria may play a role in infections and inflammation that are known to cause stroke, clogged arteries and even heart disease.

Pregnant women who have bad dental health are also at risk of giving birth prematurely and low birth weight. This happens in cases where a person has severe periodontitis.

Neck and head cancers, arthritis and eating disorders may also be linked to oral health.