Why Oral Health is Crucial for Disease Prevention

an elder woman and a nurse

Everyone knows the importance of oral health. A person who doesn’t regularly brush and floss their teeth, doesn’t visit their dentist, or eats a lot of sugary treats is prone to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth decay. While all of these are undesirable, they’re also just the surface of the issue.

Oral health is crucial for disease prevention because so many other diseases and conditions can be linked back to problems in the mouth. Here are the reasons why dentistry goes hand in hand with the diagnosis of other diseases:

Heart Disease

Gum disease has been linked to heart disease. When bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream, they can attach to fatty plaques in the arteries and contribute to the development of heart disease.

The mouth is also a breeding ground for viruses that can cause heart problems. For example, the herpes simplex virus, which is responsible for cold sores, can also cause a type of heart disease called infective endocarditis.

The mouth is also quite close to the heart — only a few inches away. This means that bacteria and viruses from the mouth can easily spread to the heart, causing serious problems.


A recent study found that people who had severe gum disease were almost twice as likely to have a stroke as those without gum disease. This is because the bacteria from gum disease can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

Stroke is a serious and life-threatening condition. It can lead to long-term problems, including paralysis and speech difficulties.

While everyone can have a stroke, people who are older are at a higher risk. The risk of developing gum disease also increases as we get older, so the two conditions are linked.

So it’s important to keep your gums healthy to reduce your risk, whether you’re 5 years old or 50.


People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing gum disease. This is because people with diabetes have high blood sugar levels, which can create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.

However, having gum disease can also lead to diabetes. According to studies, people with gum disease are more likely to develop diabetes than those without gum disease.

This is because having gum disease increases a person’s blood sugar levels, causing diabetes.

The good news is that keeping your oral health in check can help you manage your diabetes and vice versa. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as visits to the dentist, can help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Chronic Respiratory Diseases

a woman using an inhaler

Gum disease can exacerbate existing respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

People with chronic respiratory diseases are already at an increased risk for problems such as difficulty breathing, chest infections, and even lung cancer. So it’s important to keep your oral health in check to reduce your risk of developing these serious conditions.

Birth Complications

Pregnant women are sensitive to infections. Once infected, they can develop serious health problems for both themselves and their unborn child.

Gum disease is a common infection and can be passed from mother to child if left untreated. This can lead to a number of birth complications, including premature birth, low birth weight, and even stillbirth.

However, pregnant women are also at an increased risk of developing gum disease. This is because the hormones that are released during pregnancy can cause the gums to become inflamed and swollen.

So it’s important for pregnant women to keep their oral health in check by brushing and flossing regularly and visiting their dentist.


One of the most serious complications associated with gum disease is cancer.

Certain types of cancer, such as oral cancer and throat cancer, can be caused by the bacteria that grow in the mouth.

People who smoke or chew tobacco are at an increased risk of developing these types of cancer. So it’s important to keep your oral health in check. More importantly, avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological condition that causes a person to lose their memory and cognitive abilities.

There is some evidence that suggests that gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. This is because the bacteria that cause gum disease can also travel to the brain and cause damage.

While more research is needed, it’s important to keep your oral health in check to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The mouth is a gateway to the body — all sorts of bacteria and viruses can enter through the mouth and spread throughout the body. This is why it’s so important to keep your oral health in check. By brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist for check-ups, you can help prevent many serious diseases and conditions.

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