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Oral Health and Overall Health: What Is the Connection?

the connection between oral health and overall health

Your dental health is linked to a number of health conditions and systemic diseases. It’s not just about having a nice smile, your oral health can actually affect your overall health. What is the connection between oral health and overall health?

Poor oral health increases your risk for many serious illnesses and conditions, such as heart disease. In this blog post, we’ll look at the connection between oral health and overall wellness. We’ll also discuss some of the ways to prevent oral health from affecting your overall health.

What Is Oral Health?

Oral health is about more than just brushing and flossing your teeth. It includes the overall health of your mouth. This includes your gums, tongue, lips, and jaw. Poor oral health leads to gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and other issues that affect your overall health.

Relationship Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Poor oral health can have serious consequences for your overall health. Here are some of the ways that dental problems may impact the rest of your body:

Tooth Decay

This is one of the most common dental problems. This happens when foods containing sugar or starches stay on the teeth for too long. It leads to cavities and pain in the mouth, and infection if left untreated.

Cavities can cause chronic inflammation throughout your body. This increases your risk of illnesses ranging from heart disease to diabetes.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease or gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround your teeth. Symptoms include bad breath, tooth loss, and swelling in the mouth. Studies have found that people with gum disease often suffer from stroke and heart attacks more than those with healthy gums.

Oral Cancer

This rare form of cancer affects the lining of the mouth and throat. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems such as difficulty speaking or swallowing food.


This is an infection of the heart’s inner lining. Other infections, like those in the mouth, cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream and create sepsis. Endocarditis can cause serious damage to the heart and lead to life-threatening complications.

Cardiovascular Disease

Gum disease may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. The bacteria from the infection in the mouth can enter the bloodstream. This may cause inflammation and thickening of the arteries, which increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Schedule a no-obligation consultation with Dr. Krishnan

Dr. Prabha Krishnan is one of the foremost periodontists in New York. As the Vice President of the NYSDA, Dr. Krishnan and team offer advanced treatment options for patients suffering from periodontal disease. With minimally-invasive laser gum disease treatment, pinhole treatment, and other options available, patients in and around Queens, NY can expect the highest level of care available.




    Pregnancy and Oral Health

    Pregnant women are especially at risk for oral health problems. Poor oral health can lead to pre-term birth, low birth weight, and other complications. It’s important for pregnant women to take care of their teeth and gums, both for the health of their baby and their own health.


    The bacteria from poor oral health can enter the lungs and cause pneumonia. This is especially dangerous for those with weakened immune systems, such as older adults and young children.

    Conditions That Affect Oral Health

    In some cases, certain medical conditions can also increase your risk for oral health problems. Let’s look at some of these:


    HIV or AIDS can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infection. This includes infections in the mouth, such as gum disease.


    Having diabetes increases your risk for cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. It can also delay the healing of these issues, so it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene.


    Alzheimer’s disease can cause a decrease in saliva production, making it harder for the body to fight off infection. This can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.


    This disease affects the bones, making them weaker and more prone to fracture. This can cause pain in the mouth, and an increased risk of tooth loss.

    As you can see, oral health and overall wellness are strongly connected. It’s important to take care of your teeth and gums to maintain your health, both physically and mentally. Regular checkups with your dentist and following good oral hygiene habits can help you stay healthy and avoid serious health problems.

    If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your mouth, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible. The earlier you get treatment, the better your chances of avoiding serious health complications and maintaining good oral health.

    How to Improve Your Oral Health

    To keep both your oral health and overall health in top shape, there are several steps you can take. One way to stop plaque from taking over your teeth is by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Plaque can form between your teeth; flossing often can help to remove it.

    Eat Healthy Foods

    Eating a balanced diet helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. Avoid sugary or starchy foods that can damage your enamel and feed bacteria in your mouth.

    Visit the Dentist Regularly

    For the best results, see your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup. Your dentist can also detect any dental problems early on. This will help protect both your oral health and overall wellness.

    Preventive Dental Care

    The best way to maintain your oral health is with preventive care. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for checkups and cleaning. These measures help you avoid serious dental issues that lead to health problems, such as heart disease or pneumonia.

    By taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can protect your overall health and avoid many potential health risks.

    For questions or concerns about your oral health, contact our periodontal office serving Queens, NY.

    Oral Health and Overall Health Connection

    The link between oral health and overall health is significant. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene, eat a balanced diet, avoid sugary foods and visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. These steps can help you protect your overall health and reduce your risk of developing serious health problems.

    If you’re experiencing any dental issues, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to create a plan for treatment that best fits your individual needs. Request a free consultation with Your Gum Specialists to learn more about how you can maintain good oral health and overall wellness.

    Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

    Read About Our Infection Control Procedures