Poor oral health doesn’t just cause cavities—it can also cause more serious health problems, including the following:
- Cardiovascular disease—Bacteria from gum inflammation and periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart, causing plaque in the inner walls of the arteries. This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Dementia—Bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through the bloodstream or through nerve channels in the head. This has been linked to the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Respiratory infections—Breathing in bacteria from infected teeth and gums can cause lung infections such as pneumonia.
- Diabetic complications—People who have diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal disease, which makes it more difficult to control blood sugar and can worsen diabetes symptoms.
Poor dental care is also a possible cause of weak bones, pregnancy complications, low birth weight and immune system disorders. Watch this quick video to learn exactly how oral health and overall health are linked: