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4 Potential Consequences of Not Taking Care of Your Oral Health

This post is featured on behalf of Stacey White.

We all know the benefits of good oral hygiene. Beautiful teeth look attractive and give us confidence, and regular brushing and maintenance helps us to avoid painful dental issues, gum problems, and tooth loss. But did you know that our teeth can cause issues across the rest of the body too, some of them even being life threatening? 

Here we take a look at those potential issues:


Endocarditis is an inflammation of lining of the heart muscle and its valves, and is a serious problem.

It is caused by a bacterial infection which can start in the mouth. When you brush your teeth and floss, if your gums can bleed, bacteria can enter the bloodstream this way. The bacteria stick to the inner surfaces of the heart and valves and pockets of growths or bacteria can form.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Another heart issue bacteria from the mouth can cause when entering the bloodstream is the formation of fatty plaques in the arteries. It can also cause blood clots which can eventually lead to heart attacks. Since heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the western world, it’s not something to be taken lightly.

Smoking, drinking, drugs and a bad diet can all contribute, but toxins from bacteria in the mouth are also a cause. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted due to a blockage. As with the cause of heart disease, if you have poor oral hygiene this can can cause the arteries carrying blood to the brain to become blocked with plaque. This reduced flow can affect the blood supply to the brain, and pieces of plaque can also become dislodged and travel around the bloodstream causing life threatening issues. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to reduce your risk.

Systemic Inflammation

Inflammation throughout  the body is known as systemic inflammation, which doesn’t sound particularly dangerous but most definitely is. The risks of this over the long term include heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, bone weakness, depression and all kinds of cancers. It can start due to inflammation in the gums due to poor hygiene. Inflammation can be useful in the short term since it protects against injury. However long term it causes all kinds of problems. Visit a dentist like Family 1st Dental for a checkup of your teeth and gums. If you’ve not sat in the dentist’s chair for a while it’s time to book an appointment.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

One thing that might surprise you is the link between poor oral hygiene and rheumatoid arthritis. One study has found a link between tooth loss and arthritis, with the more teeth that have been lost, the greater the risk. This is also a vicious cycle, because as well as being a cause of tooth problems it can also be a effect since those with arthritic hands find it difficult to brush their teeth. An electric toothbrush can make things easier in this case.

Oral health is more than just a healthy smile. As you can see, additional health problems may arise if you neglect your teeth and gums.