rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


Are you one of those people that fall victim to laziness when it comes to oral hygiene? Maybe you’ve had a long, hard day and just don’t feel like brushing your teeth before going to bed. Or perhaps you don’t give it much thought, and before you know, you haven’t brushed or flossed your teeth in days! If this sounds like you, be mindful in what you’re about to read.

The mouth is one of the dirtiest areas of the body. It’s been said that the mouth harbors more bacteria than there are people on this planet, but whether that is an accurate statement or not, the mouth does host an abundance of bacteria.1 What is known, however, is that not all bacteria are bad; bacteria are needed to sustain homeostasis, but when bacteria have time to cultivate in the mouth it can lead to problems like periodontitis, a serious gum disease.2 Gum disease can complicate an already existing health issue or may even bring on a new one. It also makes for an unsightly smile.

Elderly Man BrushingIt doesn’t take long to visibly see when one’s mouth lacks attention. In just a matter of days you’re able to see yellow buildup of dental plaque from not brushing. And when poor oral hygiene continues, the plaque builds giving way to inflammation of the gum and eventually infection.2

Oral Hygiene and General Health

In the not so distant past, oral hygiene was not considered a factor in one’s overall general health, but today, science has proven there is a strong link between the two.2

A poor oral hygiene regimen can be a bacterial breeding ground and when oral hygiene is neglected or ignored it will eventually cause periodontal disease.2 Bacterium associated with periodontitis can enter the bloodstream via bleeding gums which is what links the two together.4 Here are just a few medical conditions linked to poor oral hygiene:

  • Heart disease – Bacteria in the bloodstream can travel to the heart and lead to a heart attack.2,3,4
  • Endocarditis – Bacteria may find its way to the inner linings of the heart and valves which in turn, create growth pockets of bacteria. These pockets cause inflammation and infection of the inner linings of the heart. 1,5
  • Stroke – There are a number of reasons why a stroke may occur – one of them is the narrowing of artery walls and another is blood clots. It is believed that oral bacteria may be a contributing factor to the arteries narrowing as well as blood clots easily forming because of the body’s negative response to the bacteria in the bloodstream. 3,4
  • Inflammation – Inflamed gums and bleeding may cause systemic inflammation. 4
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – It is known that periodontal disease will worsen the pain already suffered by those inflicted with this auto immune disorder.2
  • Lung Condition – Those already suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and pneumonia may have their condition worsened due to an increase of bacteria in their lungs. 2


The best way to fight periodontal disease and health issues linked to oral bacteria is to have a good oral hygiene regimen. Removing plaque buildup is necessary to keeping your gums and teeth free from disease. Brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss regularly.2 If you’re unsure of the correct technique to flossing, at your next visit to your dentist have thedental assistant show you the correct procedure to flossing your teeth. Moreover, it’s crucial that see your dentist regularly (once or twice a year) for your checkups and cleanings. If you find you’re having dental problems, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your dentist to prevent further, more severe health complications.

Brushing and flossing is the best prevention to a healthy mouth!


1. Oral health: A window to your overall health
2. Oral Health: The Mouth-Body Connection
3. Smile: Healthy teeth can save your life
4. Heart disease and oral health: role of oral bacteria in heart plaque
5. Dental Health and Endocarditis Prevention


British Dental Health Foundation

The British Dental Health Foundation is an independent charity that along with our global arm, the International Dental Health Foundation, is dedicated to improving the oral health of the public by providing free and impartial dental advice, by running educational campaigns and by informing and influencing the public, profession and government on issues such as mouth cancer awareness and fluoridation.

6 Responses to Six health problems linked to bad oral hygiene

  1. Paul Wilson

    The link between your oral health and body health is described well

  2. Great article! Everything mentioned above are all true and I’ve know someone who got heart disease because of neglecting to see a doctor when he has tonsilitis infection. Being inside and out should be practice thus good oral hygiene is a must.

  3. Learning the consequences of poor oral health can be scary. But instead of worrying, take action to improve your oral care. Wearing braces can be a major step towards a healthier future, because straight teeth are easier to floss and brush properly.

  4. Oral hygiene

    Keeping good Oral Hygiene is the most significant thing you can do for your healthy teeth and Gums. Good oral hygiene keeps teeth free from dental plaque buildup, staves off cavities and fights bad breath. In order to keep your mouth clean, you must practice good oral hygiene every day.

  5. Jeanne

    Agree with you. Our mouth is the gateway of our body, but it’s filled with bacteria, which you don’t want to be ingested on your body. Poor oral care has surprising and damaging effects to our overall health which we don’t even realize, the health of our mouth mirrors the condition of our body as a whole. Kids should learn as early as their childhood, to practice good habit in maintaining oral hygiene, to have a good quality of life through their adulthood.

  6. Tanishka

    Thanks for sharing this article. I had some cavity problem then I visited to a periodontist, Dr. Williams and I got better results after getting treatment.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *