Maintaining good oral hygiene isn’t just about avoiding cavities and tooth decay; it is crucial to our overall health. The state of our oral health can provide clues about possible underlying issues elsewhere in our body. 

On the other hand, poor oral health can contribute to serious systemic diseases. Studies have shown that 90% of all systemic diseases will show oral signs and symptoms. Today’s article discusses the correlation between oral and overall health.

The Gateway to Your Body

Our mouth is home to billions of bacteria, both good and bad. While good bacteria support oral health, harmful bacteria can cause infections like tooth decay and periodontal diseases. 

When the delicate balance of good and bacteria gets disturbed, oral infections can occur and jeopardize the body’s immune responses. 

This bacteria enters the bloodstream through the injured gum tissue, allowing infections to travel from your mouth to other body parts.

Oral Health and Systemic Diseases

In 2012, The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) conducted studies consisting of more than 70 leading researchers to find the correlation between periodontitis and heart diseases, diabetes, and pregnancy side effects. 

They found that the correlation indeed exists. Since then, more than 700 studies linking oral health to systemic conditions have been published since then.

The Impact of Poor Oral Health

These are the possible health conditions that are linked with oral health:

  • Heart disease
  • Endocarditis (infection of heart tissue)
  • Pregnancy/Premature birth
  • Diabetes
  • Pneumonia
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Osteoporosis

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Gum disease and gingivitis are tied to premature birth, low birth weight babies, and preeclampsia. Expectant mothers with poor oral hygiene have higher levels of oral bacteria that trigger increased inflammation and stimulate labor hormones. 

Therefore, we advise seeking dental care and maintaining good oral health practices throughout pregnancy.

Preventive Oral Care and Overall Wellness

Preventive Oral Care and Overall Wellness - Monroe Family Dentistry

To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene daily. Here are some tips for a clean and healthy mouth:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily using a good quality toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth daily.
  • Use mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
  • Limit eating or drinking sugary substances.
  • Replace your brush after 3-4 months or when the bristles are worn down.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
  • Avoid smoking.

The Role of Diet in Oral and Overall Health

  • Protein: It is beneficial for bone, gum, and tissue repair. Limited studies suggest a higher protein intake may improve musculoskeletal and gum health.
  • Vitamin A: Maintaining epithelial (outer surface tissue) tissues and growing salivary glands is essential.
  • Vitamin C: Required for the production of collagen-forming cells (fibroblasts), osteoblasts (bone-forming cells), and odontoblasts.
  • Vitamin D: Helps in gum and bone health. Sufficient Vitamin D intake has resulted in less inflammation and faster wound healing.
  • Calcium & Phosphate: As the enamel of our teeth is made of 96% calcium and phosphate ions, our teeth need a constant source of both. 

Vitamin A and C deficiencies may increase the risk of oral cancers, gingivitis, and weakened tooth enamel. Iron, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to tongue swelling, papillary atrophy, and surface ulcerations. If your diet lacks Vitamin D and Calcium, you may risk developing enamel hypoplasia and weakened enamel.


Poor oral health directly causes infections and inflammation that can contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes complications, and more. 

As prevention, simple daily oral hygiene habits, healthy diets, and regular professional care offer profound preventive benefits. Protect your oral health and overall health by properly caring for your teeth and gums. Consult your family dentist in Monroe, NC, to protect your teeth and oral health.

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