Man talking with his dentist about poor oral health issues

Can Poor Oral Health Make You Sick? 6 Issues Caused by Bad Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene is one of the most important health habits we can practice. We’re taught early on how important it is to take care of your teeth, passing that on to the next generation.

Although we know it’s essential to keep up on our flossing and brushing to ensure that our teeth stay clean and strong, many people don’t know how oral health can affect your whole body.

So, can poor oral health make you sick? Here’s a guide on six issues caused by bad dental hygiene and how holistic dentistry can help you and your family.

Are you interested in what services come with holistic dentistry? Contact Health Centered Dentistry to learn more!

What Issues Are Caused by Bad Dental Hygiene?

What Issues Are Caused by Bad Dental Hygiene infographic

Many people know that good hygiene ensures that your teeth stay healthy and strong as time goes on, but it can also help prevent other health issues. Your body works as one system, which means that having problems in one area can often lead to other issues or symptoms.

When you don’t take care of your teeth, you may experience stained teeth, decaying teeth, gum disease, and more. But what are some health issues that can arise from bad dental hygiene? The following are some health problems that have been linked to poor oral health.

1. Cardiovascular Issues

Poor dental health means an increased risk of bacterial infection in the bloodstream. This can affect the heart valves, which is particularly important for people with artificial heart valves.

There are also tooth loss patterns that are connected to coronary artery disease. Although poor oral health care isn’t the key to heart disease prevention, it can still affect your cardiovascular system.

2. Cancer

A study done in 2013 published by the Cancer Prevention Research journal found that people with poor oral health were at a 56% higher risk for developing human papillomavirus (HPV). Although this is commonly known as a sexually transmitted disease, certain types can form and infect the mouth and throat (oral HPV).

Oral HPV thrives at the base of the tongue and around the tonsils, causing oropharyngeal cancers. When the bacteria are allowed to grow and thrive in the mouth due to bad oral health practices, they can infect the mouth and throat, causing changes in cell growth.

3. Infertility

Women’s infertility can occur with poor oral health, as gum disease has been linked to fertility problems. Some women with endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome are at greater risk of gum disease and can increase the risk of infertility problems. Women should maintain great oral hygiene, leading to increased chances of fertility, conception, and healthy babies.

Men also face infertility with poor oral health practices as they often end up with tooth decay and gum disease. These results are linked to low sperm counts and unhealthy semen, which increases the risk of male factor infertility.

4. Respiratory Issues

Respiratory issues are common with poor oral health. Your teeth and gums are reservoirs for bacteria to grow and travel down to the lungs and harm them. Plaque can also be a big issue, making it even more important to brush your teeth thoroughly. Some bacteria can also be inhaled into the lungs on tiny droplets of saliva.

People with gum disease can also worsen chronic inflammation in lung diseases like asthma and COPD. This can cause lung damage and further lung inflammation.

5. Arthritis

Having poor oral health and rheumatoid arthritis can be a bad combination for your health. This type of arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect the joints and other body systems. It occurs when your immune system attacks the tissues instead of the outside invaders.

Since this is an inflammatory disease, it can affect your oral health. This can often be the source of tooth decay and oral infections. To prevent poor oral health, ensure that you are staying on top of brushing and flossing your teeth to avoid issues of tooth loss or infections.

Are you interested in how holistic dentistry can help maintain your health? Contact Health Centered Dentistry today!

6. Dementia

A recent analysis led by NIA scientists suggests that bacteria that cause gum disease have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, particularly vascular dementia. The team compared different age groups at a baseline with up to 26 years of follow-up for more than 6,000 participants. They analyzed antibodies against 19 oral bacteria and found that the Porphyromonas gingivalis is the most common culprit of gum disease.

The study results showed that older adults with signs of gum disease and mouth infections are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s during the study. And among those 65 years or older, the Alzheimer’s diagnoses and deaths were associated with antibodies against the oral bacterium. The long-term follow-up on this study suggested that oral infections proceeded with the diagnosis of dementia.

What Does Good Oral Hygiene Include?

Having good oral hygiene starting at a young age can save you from many issues in the future. As a kid through adulthood, it can help prevent problems such as cavities that hurt our teeth and are sometimes not fun to treat. Later in our lives, we can benefit from our good oral hygiene when our teeth stay healthy and strong, so we don’t need help from things like dentures.

There are some tips that you can follow to maintain good oral hygiene. For some, this may take an active effort to change your oral hygiene routine, but the habit will set in after a while, and you won’t have to make a second thought about it.

Some healthy oral habits to do include:

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day
  • Floss daily between the teeth to remove dental plaque
  • Visit your dentist at least once a year, even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures (it’s recommended to visit every six months)
  • Do not use any tobacco products
  • Limit alcoholic drinks
  • If you have diabetes, maintain control of the disease to limit the risk of gum disease
  • If your medication causes dry mouth, talk with your doctor about another option
  • See your doctor or dentist if you have sudden changes in taste and smell

These tips can help mitigate problems that come from poor oral hygiene. When you stay on top of your dental routine, it will help keep your teeth healthy and help clean stains caused by foods and drinks.

How Can Holistic Dentistry Help You?

A holistic dentist is a medical professional who takes a more natural, whole-body approach to treatment options. They see that your oral health is linked to your overall well-being and want to ensure that you’re getting treatments based on your overall health needs.

When visiting a holistic dentist, you’ll get the general care of flossing, brushing, and medicinal treatments. However, they may also recommend extra treatments such as:

  • Changes in your nutrition
  • Ozone treatment
  • Amalgam-free fillings
  • Comprehensive consultations and exams
  • Oral pH testing

They work to elevate your overall health and ensure that your dental hygiene is also treated. A holistic approach to dentistry can help you maintain your overall health and prevent further problems.

Health Centered Dentistry is a family dentistry in Anchorage, Alaska. We focus on integrative, whole-body dental care for your whole family. No matter the age, we’ll provide services such as regular check-ups, cosmetic procedures, restorative treatments, and oral surgery. Our most popular holistic services include safe amalgam removal, ozone, and testing for Vitamin C and pH levels.

We provide high-end dentistry services by expert staff using the most up-to-date dentistry equipment such as CBCT scans, CREC same-day dentistry, and implant surgical guides.

If you’re looking for a healthier approach to your dentistry services, holistic dentistry is the way to go. We have several amenity options that help you feel comfortable during our visit.

Are you ready to see how a holistic dentist can help you? Schedule an appointment with Health Centered Dentistry today!