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4 ways your oral health affects your overall health

Poor oral health won’t just lead to a toothless grin. If you have poor oral health, it can have negative impacts on your overall health.

1. Gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. because gum disease increases the inflammation throughout your body, which is known to lead to cardiovascular disease.

gum disease

Gum disease from extended bacterial exposure can lead to cardiovascular disease as it may increase the inflammation level throughout the body. Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease. Your dentist or hygienist should ask you about your heart health and family history of heart disease and conversely, cardiologists should examine your oral health. A problem in one area may signal trouble in the other.

poor oral health can lead to diabetes if left unchecked

2. Gum disease may be linked to diabetes

New studies suggest that serious gum disease may actually contribute to diabetes as it affects blood glucose control. Because periodontal disease is an infection, bacteria produce toxins that affect the carbohydrate metabolism in individual cells. It is also thought that the host response to periodontal bacteria can increase insulin resistance and, therefore, blood glucose levels.

3. Teeth grinding and joint health

Teeth grinding (or “Bruxism”) is bad for your teeth. Everyone knows that.


The habit can wear down your enamel, cause increased tooth sensitivity, and result in chipped or broken teeth. Not only that, bruxism can aggravate the joints in your lower jaw, also known as the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. This can

lead to pain or tightness in the joint area, and even ear-aches and headaches.

4.  Tongue and germs

The surface of the tongue can harbour a lot of bacteria.

a healthy tongueTrapped germs on the tongue can lead to bad breath and affect your sense of taste, and the bacteria can travel to other parts of your mouth. Make it a habit to thoroughly clean your tongue every time you brush your teeth.

You can use a tongue cleaner, a small tool designed to scrape the tongue; it comes in various shapes and sizes. Your regular toothbrush will also do the job. Try to reach right to the back. If this triggers your gag reflex, keep trying. Eventually, your reflex will ease up. You might also find that a tongue cleaner doesn’t trigger the reflex as easily as a toothbrush does.

It is important that you check with your dentist if you have gum disease and whether you grind your teeth in your sleep and the state of your tongue. Maintaining good oral health should be part of the regimen for maintaining good overall health.