How Does Oral Health Impacts Overall Health? It’s Not Just About Smile


We are all familiar with the adage, “Health is Wealth.” Over time, we also grow up to find that it is all true. Taking care of one’s health should be a priority and should not be compromised for anything.

This also includes oral health. However, it is often overlooked and that leads to many major health crises.

This can be fatal and sometimes even lead to loss of life. This blog will help you to know everything there is to know about oral health and its need.

What Includes Oral Health?

As per the latest statistics, over 80% of people are prone to having a bad tooth by the time they reach the age of 34.

Oral Health Affects The Whole Body

Several prevalent conditions that affect our oral health include tooth decay (cavities), periodontal (gum) disease, and oral cancer.

Oral health encompasses the well-being of our teeth, gums, and the overall oral-facial system, enabling us to engage in activities such as smiling, speaking, and chewing. 

1. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can be described as the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and edges of the teeth.

If you are someone who loves eating/drinking sodas and chocolates make sure you brush your teeth after you are done.

2. Periodontal Disease

As the name suggests, it is the weakening of the bone structure around the teeth. After a while, one can see that teeth might start falling or even be extracted.

Certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes, a weakened immune system, poor oral hygiene, and heredity, increase the risk for periodontal disease. Using tobacco regularly can also be the primary cause of the deterioration.

If early forms of periodontal diseases are not treated, the gums can become infected, and the bone that supports the teeth can be lost.

3. Oral Cancer

High-risk behaviours, including cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco, and excessive alcohol consumption, play a significant role in the development of oral cancer.

Preventing these behaviours is crucial in reducing the mortality rate associated with this disease.

How Oral Health Affects The Whole Body?

Being the entry point to every major system in our body, the mouth is extremely prone to bacteria and other diseases.

Studies have indicated that oral bacteria and inflammation associated with severe gum disease (periodontitis) may have implications for the development of certain diseases.

The presence of oral bacteria and the resulting inflammation could potentially contribute to the progression of these diseases.

Decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants can cause be a reason why your saliva flow plummets.

When saliva flow is decreased, it can disrupt the natural defence mechanism, making individuals more vulnerable to oral health problems and microbial diseases.

Conditions Linked To Oral Health

Maintaining good oral health is crucial as it can have implications for various diseases and conditions. Here are some examples:

1. Pregnancy And Birth Complications

Periodontitis, a form of gum disease, has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight in some studies.

2. Cardiovascular Disease

While the connection is not fully understood, research suggests that oral bacteria and the resulting inflammation and infections may contribute to heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke.

3. Endocarditis

This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves (endocardium). It can occur when bacteria or germs from the mouth spread through the bloodstream and attach to certain areas in the heart.

4. Pneumonia

Certain bacteria in the mouth can be aspirated into the lungs, leading to pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

In addition, certain health conditions can also impact oral health:

Health Conditions That Can Impact Oral Health

1. Diabetes

Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, making individuals with diabetes more susceptible to gum disease.

The patient is left alone to fight gum disease owing to the decrease/increase in blood sugar levels.

Diabetic people should take extra care of their gum structure. Brushing and flossing should be part of your routine.


People with HIV/AIDS often experience oral problems such as painful mucosal lesions.

3. Osteoporosis

This condition, characterized by bone weakening, is associated with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Some medications used to treat osteoporosis carry a slight risk of jawbone damage.

4. Alzheimer’s Disease

Oral health tends to worsen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

So take care of your oral health!

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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