Your Teeth and Your Health: How Bad Oral Hygiene Can Make You Ill

Since you were young, you were told that forgetting to brush your teeth every after meals and flossing at least once a day will lead to toothaches and gum disease. However, bad oral hygiene can lead to much more serious consequences.

There is increasing evidence linking to bad oral hygiene and illnesses. It is crucial that you, not only brush and floss your teeth every day but also visit your dentist regularly.

Visit your local digital orthodontics to assess your oral health and prevent the development of the illnesses below.

Cardiovascular Disease

Could the habit of not brushing your teeth regularly affect your heart later on?

Scientists have been debating the link between bad oral hygiene and cardiovascular health for years now. However, recent evidence suggests that poor oral health increases a person’s risk of having heart disease.

According to experts, the bacteria in the mouth that is responsible for periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) can travel to the bloodstream and cause an increase in C-reactive protein. Changes in levels of C-reactive protein is an indicator of cardiovascular disease.

The symptoms of periodontal disease include red, swollen, and sore gums; bleeding gums; gums that look like they are pulling away from the teeth; bad breath; and an unpleasant taste in the mouth that does not seem to go away.

More evidence is needed to conclude whether oral hygiene can increase or decrease a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease.


Diabetes can affect your oral health and vice versa.

When you have type-2 diabetes, you are more likely to experience gum disease. The condition makes your immune system less effective at fighting viral and bacterial infections. That is why gum disease is more often observed among patients diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.

However, gum disease can also make type-2 diabetes much harder to manage. New research suggests that gum disease can raise blood sugar among patients with or without type-2 diabetes.

When you have periodontal disease, your gums are quite sensitive. Normal activities such as chewing and brushing/flossing your teeth can create tears in your gums. Scientists suspect that this allows infected germs to enter the bloodstream.

Brushing and flossing your teeth and seeing your dentist regularly should be a part of your daily routine to prevent diabetes.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

man with alzheimers

Poor oral hygiene is a sign than an older adult may have undiagnosed dementia. However, will allowing plaque to build up inside your mouth lead to Alzheimer’s later in life?

There is still a lot that doctors do not know about Alzheimer’s Disease. However, there is a study that looked at the brains of healthy people and those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They found the presence of bacteria that causes periodontal disease in the brains of four patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Scientists suggest that everyday activities allow bacteria and other debris from the mouth to enter the brain. When the immune system responds to the threat, they inadvertently damage nerve cells which will lead to memory loss.

Again, more research is needed before scientists can make a definitive conclusion.

Hopefully, knowing how poor oral hygiene can affect your overall health will encourage you to take better care of your teeth and gums. As public health experts continue to reiterate, brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss, and see your dentist every six months.

About Faye Gonzales 1659 Articles
Meet our chief explorer, Faye Gonzales. With over a decade of travel experience, Faye is not only a passionate globetrotter but also a loving mom who understands the unique needs of family travelers. Her insights into family-friendly destinations and travel tips make her a trusted guide for parents seeking memorable adventures with their children.