A man holding his head in pain

How Can Poor Dental Hygiene Affect the Rest of the Body?

We all know about the importance of brushing teeth for a healthy smile, but did you know that poor oral hygiene can lead to diseases all over the body? Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through your mouth and cause various illnesses apart from dental issues like cavities and gum disease. 

Fortunately, starting with oral hygiene at a young age and sticking with it can prevent most of these issues from developing. Here is a look at various diseases caused by poor dental hygiene and how to avoid them. 

What Health Issues Can Result From Poor Oral Hygiene?

Studies show that poor oral health might contribute to various diseases in the body. It may sound extreme, but consider this — failing to brush or floss leads to bacteria growth in your mouth, and when you compound this problem over years and years, it has significant consequences. Here are some of them. 

Cardiovascular Diseases

Poor oral hygiene can increase your risk for cardiovascular diseases such as endocarditis. Bacteria can travel to your bloodstream from your mouth and cause inflammation and infection in the heart. Studies also show that those with gum disease have double the risk for stroke. 


Another disease caused by poor dental hygiene is diabetes. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, which increases blood sugar levels and makes you more susceptible to diabetes. 

It also makes blood sugar levels harder to control and exposes you to more complications from the disease. 

Pregnancy Complications and Infertility

Poor oral health can also lead to pregnancy complications. According to studies, pregnant women with periodontal disease were six times more likely to deliver prematurely. These studies found that oral bacteria had traveled to the amniotic fluid and placenta. Additionally, poor oral hygiene can cause infertility by lowering sperm count in men.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis

Other diseases caused by poor dental hygiene include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Bacteria in the mouth can cause inflammation throughout the body and increase your risk of developing arthritis. If the gum disease persists for a long time, it can also cause bone loss in areas other than the mouth. 

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Poor oral hygiene can also lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies show that pathogenic oral bacteria can travel to the nerve channels, destroy brain cells, and cause memory loss. 

Kidney Disease

Kidneys are another body part that can be affected by poor oral health. Patients with periodontal disease have weaker immune systems and are more vulnerable to infections and kidney disease.

How Can I Prevent These Diseases?

A woman and a child brushing their teeth

These are just some of the diseases caused by poor dental hygiene. Pathogenic oral bacteria can also cause respiratory problems and even cancer. To prevent these diseases from developing, you need to visit the dentist every six months and practice good dental hygiene. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Brush and floss daily
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Avoid smoking and other tobacco products
  • Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash

Keep a Healthy Smile and a Healthy Body With Definitive Dental

A healthy smile means a healthy body. At Definitive Dental, we help you achieve that healthy smile and avoid diseases caused by poor dental hygiene. We welcome patients of all ages to our modern office in Grande Prairie for comprehensive dentistry. Contact us now to schedule your routine dental exams and cleanings to keep your mouth and body in the best shape possible!

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