What Are the Links Between Oral Health and General Health?

Posted on: May 2, 2018

When it comes to general and oral health there are plenty of links and correlations between the two. There have been a myriad of studies over the years that point to the fact that oral bacteria can and will lead to inflammation. Having any kind of inflammation inside of the body can lead to diseases and or pain.

Heres' the deal

If you already have a health condition, this fact can lower your immunity response to other illnesses that we often come in contact with on a daily basis. If you catch the flu or a bacterial illness and your oral health is not up to par, then it will be harder to recover from; opposed to a healthier person who takes proper care of their oral health.

If you have certain illnesses such as HIV or diabetes, this will further complicate your oral health problems, making it more difficult for you to recover.

Illness or not, oral health can relate directly to your general health and well-being.  It is important to note that the mouth has tons of bacteria going in and out of your mouth each and every day. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day can help you control how much bacteria is thriving inside of your mouth.

Why does this all matter?

Saliva is needed in your mouth to wash away food and is used to neutralize the bacteria that is already inside of your mouth. Medications that you take for other health conditions can cause you to have a dry mouth, this can limit your saliva production, which in turn, will can cause bacteria to overpopulate inside of your mouth.

It is important to let your dentist know what exact medications you are taking, so he or she can help you come up with a plan to keep the bacteria inside of your mouth at a minimum.

As you can see, if your oral health is not properly managed, the overproduction of bacteria in your mouth can manifest into other health conditions.

According to Mayo Clinic, there are several general health diseases that have been studied and linked to lack of oral health:

  • Cardiovascular disease: Heart disease is linked to inflammation and oral bacteria.

  • Endocarditis: Mouth bacteria can spread to your bloodstream and cling onto areas of your heart, creating an infection around your heart muscle.

  • Pregnancy and birth: If you don’t properly control the number of bacteria flowing in and out of your mouth, this can lead to a low weight at birth and can increase your chances of having a premature baby.

If you have the following health conditions, your oral health will need to be immaculate even more so, as the conditions below can compromise your oral health:

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Diabetes


  • Osteoporosis

As you can see, the way you treat your oral health is vital, especially if you want to live a long and healthy lifestyle. The main goal is to limit bacteria and inflammation.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Smiles in the Village Dentistry, request an appointment in our Carmel dental office here: https://www.carmelsmilesdentist.com. Or call us at (317) 200-3679.

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