Proper oral hygiene not only makes your smile better, breath better, teeth whiter, and gums healthier, but it can also help maintain your overall health as well. Having poor oral health can cause some very serious health issues later in life, far past toothaches, bleeding gums, and bad breath. Here are some of the most common health problems that bad oral health can cause:

Cardiovascular Disease

Bacteria and plaque constantly is building up in your mouth throughout the day, which is why you are supposed to brush your teeth multiple times a day. However, if you don’t keep up with your dental hygiene, then this bacteria will start to build up and cause infections within your gums. Some of these bacteria can also make their way into the bloodstream through the gums and build up in the arteries. Arteries that have a build-up are called atherosclerosis, which causes problems with the blood flow to and from the heart. This ultimately can damage the arteries, blood vessels, the heart and can increase the risk of strokes which can be fatal. 


Bad oral health can also affect a person’s brain function. Many studies have shown that infected gums and gingivitis can lead to dementia and memory loss. The bacteria from the infection can travel through the bloodstream and start killing off brain cells and affecting nerves. However, there are many easy ways to prevent this from happening, including brushing your teeth, flossing, and going to a dentist regularly.

Respiratory Issues

Because bacteria and plaque are located within your mouth, they can easily be breathed into your lungs. When this happens, the bacteria can cause some lungs infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis. However, this is less common but more prone to happen with elderly individuals.

Contact a Dentist

Although all of these health problems listed above are very serious and scary, there is a very easy solution to prevent them from occurring because of your oral health. All you have to do is brush your teeth thoroughly and regularly. Remember to floss! And visit a dentist for regular cleanings. If you are experiencing any issues with your oral health, including toothaches or gum pain, contact Dr. Emma Wu’s today by filling out an online contact form!

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