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The Negative Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene on Your Body

May 9, 2014

It's your mouth. You only have one. And it's the gateway to everything else in your body. Take care of it just as you would any other part of your body. Not doing so can have substantial negative effects on your health because oral health is more than just about having clean teeth.

Most people already know that poor dental care can lead to cavities, but did you know that other, more serious health problems could also result from poor oral care? Oral health is directly related to overall health. Not taking care of your teeth can lead to worse conditions than tooth ache, cavities or stains.

Below are just some of the negative effects of poor dental hygiene on your body.

The negative effects of poor dental hygiene on your body


Known as gum disease, it is a condition where bone deterioration around the teeth leads to loosening and eventual tooth loss. 25% of US adults over 65 have lost all their teeth. In fact, most of the diseases mentioned below can start from having gum disease.


High levels of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth can lead to clogging of the carotid artery, increasing the risk of stroke. Atherosclerosis causes plaque to develop on the inner walls of arteries that thicken and this decreases or may block blood flow through the body. This can cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.


The inner lining of the heart can also become infected and inflamed, a condition known as endocarditis. People with periodontal disease are twice more likely to develop heart disease. In fact, one study found that the presence of gum disease, cavities, and missing teeth are as good as predicting heart disease and cholesterol levels.


95% of US adults with diabetes also have periodontal disease, 1/3 are in advanced stages that have lead to tooth loss. Inflammation of the gum tissue and periodontal disease can make it harder to control your blood sugar and make your diabetes symptoms worse. Diabetes sufferers are also more susceptible to periodontal disease, making proper dental care even more important for those with this disease.


The bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through either nerve channels in the head or through the bloodstream that might even lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease. There is also a link between periodontal disease and depression.


While the connection might not be completely obvious at first, think of what might happen from breathing in bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a long period of time.


Periodontal bacteria can travel through the bloodstream, inflaming blood vessels and blocking blood flow to the genitals. In fact, men with periodontal disease are 7 times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men with good dental hygiene.


Expectant mothers with poor dental hygiene are 7 times more likely to deliver premature and low birth weight babies.

Establish Good Dental Hygiene Habits

Practicing proper dental care is important in many ways you might not have thought of before. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily and using a mouth rinse to kill bacteria. You should also visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and the prevention of other dental and health problems. Doing so can protect more than just your teeth -- it can save your life!

We care so much about preventive care that we have shaped our 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5-years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.   Call 317-882-0228 to schedule your appointment today!