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07 Oct 2022

HealthWise: The Critical Role Oral Hygiene Plays in Your Overall Health

HealthWise: The Critical Role Oral Hygiene Plays in Your Overall Health. If you want to live a full, productive life your overall health needs to be taken into consideration. As such, developing a healthy lifestyle should be in line with your highest priorities. But what many people don’t realize is the fundamental role your oral hygiene plays in your overall health.

Your mouth is the entry point for bacteria and all sorts of germs that can disperse throughout your body. And if your mouth becomes infected, severe infections can even travel through your body faster than you might realize.

But taking care of your oral hygiene is also easier than you might think. And even if you have significant tooth decay, there are options to consider other than costly dental surgery. However, overall health begins with healthy life choices and good habits.

Here, we’ll discuss how your oral health affects your overall health and what you can do to maintain a brilliant smile.

How Oral Health Affects Your Heart

Most periodontists will affirm that gum disease can impact the heart in a variety of ways, but the primary risk is heart disease.

As you’re probably aware, heart health is critical for overall health and maintaining a quality of life that you enjoy. As such, keeping your mouth clean and developing sound oral hygiene habits are essential practices for keeping your mouth and your heart healthy.

Additionally, abscesses in your mouth often contain huge pockets of bacteria that can travel to the heart and cause even worse damage. This is why regular visits to the dentist and correcting any infections with antibiotics is essential for overall health.


Your bloodstream eventually returns to the heart. And infections in the teeth and gums can travel to the heart via the bloodstream. Correspondingly, this can affect the heart valves and cause disease to form.

As mentioned, when the lining of your heart becomes inflamed, it can lead to an array of other physical problems.

Endocarditis occurs when bacteria travels through the bloodstream and affects your heart. And when this occurs, a number of health risks may arise. A few of these are as follows:

Infections in vital organs  

  • Blood clots
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Aching joints and muscles
  • Chest pains
  • Swelling in the feet, legs, and abdomen
  • Flu-like symptoms

Poor oral health greatly increases the chances that you could develop Endocarditis and a host of other health risks that follow this condition.

Brain Health and Oral Health

In recent years, a growing body of research has been compiled which identifies a link between Alzheimer’s Disease and oral health. And the findings are quite surprising.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that typically affects older adults, with the onset timing usually occurring after age 60 in most patients. And this disease is often related to what is known as senile plaques that build up in the brain.

Recent studies have shown a link between periodontal disease and the buildup of senile plaques in the brain via studies conducted on laboratory mice. The mice developed neuroinflammation and senile plaque formation after being exposed to periodontal disease.

These findings not only elevate the health risks associated with gum disease and poor oral hygiene, but they also expose the critical need for developing oral hygiene habits for optimal physical and mental health.

For optimal gum health, along with regular brushing, most periodontists recommend flossing at least twice daily in order to remove any plaque buildup between the teeth.

Correcting Teeth Without Oral Surgery

While oral hygiene plays a critical role in your overall health, this is one habit that you have to keep up with your entire life. But unfortunately, not many people begin taking care of their teeth until it’s too late.

Oral surgery, dental implants, and crowns can be extremely expensive. But if you’re just beginning your journey of taking care of your oral health, you can still have a brilliant smile without spending thousands of dollars on costly dental work.

Clip-on veneers can offer you the chance to maintain a great smile, eat delicious foods and regain your self-confidence while you begin the process of taking care of your teeth, even if this means getting oral surgery or implants later on down the road.

Taking care of your teeth and gums is crucial to your overall health and your physical and mental well-being. And often this is as easy as maintaining proper brushing, flossing and eating habits. As such, talking to your dentist about how to incorporate good oral hygiene habits will be a wise decision. 

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