Written By Dr. Sonal Bhoot / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
One of the little known facts about oral health is that it can have a massive impact on the overall well-being of our body. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, it could affect how your total body functions and performs.
Most people don't know this, and that's why so many people ignore dental issues until the very last minute. No one thinks that an untreated cavity or gum issue could harm their kidneys or liver, but it actually can.
Let's take a look at 10 ways your oral health negatively impacts your overall health.
1. Your oral health can impact the health of your lungs.
Did you know that an infection in your gums could travel to your lungs? If you didn’t, now you do.
Bacteria associated with periodontal disease can travel into your lungs by being inhaled into your lower respiratory tract. While in this portion of your lungs, these bacteria can cause infections like pneumonia. Keeping this kind of bacteria out of your lungs also helps reduce your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
2. Oral bacteria can impact your brain.
Oral bacteria can leave your mouth, enter your bloodstream, and then travel to various places in your body. Your brain is one of those places.
Researchers have found that when oral bacteria travel to the brain, it can trigger a multitude of complications. This bacteria can increase a person’s risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. People with periodontal disease have twice the risk of a non-fatal stroke than those without.
3. Poor oral health can harm your heart.
Harmful oral bacteria can travel via the bloodstream to virtually any organ in the body, including the heart. If you don’t treat these harmful bacteria and it spreads to your heart, it puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, and clogged arteries.
The bacteria can also infect the lining of your heart and cause endocarditis. Even if endocarditis is treated, there could be lasting damage to your heart valves.
4. The kidneys could lose their ability to perform their functions.
Our kidneys help push toxins out of the body. If oral bacteria travel to the kidneys, there is a severe impact on this vital organ being able to operate.
If your kidney function deteriorates, it opens you up to a multitude of infections. This also occurs in reverse. If you bombard your body with tons of bacteria, you can wear down your renal system.
5. Oral bacteria can interfere with pancreatic function.
The pancreas helps manage the levels of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone that signals to the body to convert the glucose from carbs into energy.
Disruption in insulin production also affects the breakdown of fat in the body. Without proper insulin levels, the body can suffer in countless ways.
Your vision could be impacted, you could develop hyperglycemia, or you could go into diabetic ketoacidosis. You could gain significant amounts of weight.
6. Oral bacteria can complicate your pregnancy and endanger the fetus.
When we are pregnant, everything that happens to a mother can be felt by the fetus. Harmful oral bacteria is no different.
Hormones that a woman produces during the gestation period can cause gum issues in a person who doesn’t have any prior and exacerbate them in someone who does. That bacteria can pass through the bloodstream and infect your fetus. This can cause a low birth weight for the fetus and/or pre-term delivery.
7. Oral bacteria can make symptoms worse in someone already dealing with liver issues.
If you already suffer from a liver condition, the spread of harmful oral bacteria will complicate your condition. People who suffer from liver conditions like cirrhosis should take extra special care of their teeth.
If you ignore your oral health, you will make your liver functions worse if the bacteria from your mouth travel to, and infect, your liver.
8. Inflammation can occur in your joints.
It’s clear that bad oral bacteria can spread throughout the body to virtually every organ. It stands to reason that it can attack your joints as well.
If oral bacteria spreads throughout your body, it could trigger inflamed joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. This condition causes swelling in your joints, making it painful or impossible to move or bend them.
9. Untreated bacteria can trigger swelling in the face and jaw.
While oral bacteria can travel throughout the body and cause massive health issues, it can trigger problems in the facial region as well. It can cause swelling making it difficult to open/close your jaw or infect lymph nodes in your neck.
These conditions are extremely painful and challenging to combat.
10. Oral bacteria can cause bone weakening and osteoporosis.
Not only can oral bacteria cause issues to your organs, infect your joints, and attack lymph nodes, it can also harm your bones.
The immediate concern would be the jawbone since it is part of the mouth. But it could actually travel throughout the body and cause issues like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak, which makes them prone to breakage and fractures.
Things You Can Do To Prevent Periodontal Disease
The biggest thing you can do for your oral health is to make sure you visit your dentist every six months for your regular checkups. Early detection of oral issues means they will be easier and less expensive to treat.
Other things you can do is brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss at least once per day. Avoid sugars and tobacco products for your best dental health.
Replace your toothbrush every three months and use a mouthwash after every meal to wash out food particles that get left behind.
Oral health has an impact on more than just your teeth. The bacteria from your mouth can spread throughout your entire body, wreaking havoc along the way.
It can cause problems in your mouth, heart, brain, and virtually every major organ. Make sure you take your oral health seriously and treat issues early to avoid serious complications that can arise from untreated dental issues.
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Dr. Sonal V. Bhoot has over 15 years of dental experience and received her doctorate in Dental Medicine (DMD) in 2003 from the New Jersey Dental School. Dr. Bhoot has certifications and proficiencies in cosmetic dentistry, CEREC training, Invisalign, endodontics, oral surgery, TMJ disorders, restorative dentistry, laser treatments, and more. She treats the whole family including children.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com