Health Conditions Linked To Oral Health

If you are concerned about your health, you may want to start protecting your well-being by keeping your mouth clean. The state of your teeth and gums is linked to many health conditions. Here are a few of them:

Heart Disease

When plaque is not properly cleaned from your teeth and gums, the gums become inflamed from the acid released by the oral bacteria within the sticky substance. As the gingival inflammation increases, pockets or spaces develop between the gum tissue and the teeth. 

These pockets provide an additional area in which the bacteria within the mouth can accumulate. As the bacterial population builds, some of the microbes reach the bloodstream and relocate to other areas of your body. The oral bacteria cause inflammation in the circulatory system, resulting in heart disease and associated conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes. 

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by insufficient blood flow to the penile organ. The condition is linked to periodontal disease, due to the inflammation that gum disease can incite in the blood vessels of the body. 

Preterm Deliveries and Low Birth Weight Babies

If a pregnant woman develops periodontal disease, she increases the likelihood of delivering her child before the due date and having a baby who weighs less than an average newborn. Pregnancy can cause gum disease to develop more easily because of pregnancy hormones that increase the amount of blood flowing through the gingival tissue. Thus, oral hygiene should be exercised even more intensely during pregnancy.


Dementia is also linked to oral health conditions, such as gum disease. Oral bacteria can travel to the brain to incite inflammation and increase the likelihood of a person developing dementia.

During studies that assessed the brains of people who died with dementia, oral bacteria were found in the brain tissue. The bacteria were not present in the brain tissue of people who died without the condition.


Diabetic patients with periodontal disease sometimes suffer from blood sugar fluctuations. Diabetes can cause periodontal disease to become more severe, and periodontal disease can exacerbate the complications associated with diabetes. The connection between oral health and diabetes may be due to inflammation that affects insulin sensitivity.

A plan for maintaining a healthy body should include proper oral hygiene. To learn more ways to avoid oral health problems and the systemic conditions with which they may be associated, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.