5 Health Issues Linked With Poor Oral Hygiene

5 Health Issues Linked With Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene habits can lead to a broad range of health problems that affect not just your teeth and gums but your entire body. However, you can prevent many of these by brushing, flossing, and visiting a dental professional for regular check-ups and hygiene teeth cleanings.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the health issues linked with poor oral hygiene, how you can prevent poor oral hygiene and what symptoms to look out for.

Poor Dental Hygiene Symptoms

Here are some of the most common signs to look out for if you have poor oral hygiene:

  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath
  • Toothache
  • Teeth sensitivity 
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Tooth loss 
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth erosion

5 Health Issues Linked With Poor Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is often overlooked, but it is crucial to maintain your overall health. Unfortunately, neglecting your dental care routine can lead to various health concerns, both minor and major. Continue reading to find out more about the 5 health issues that are linked to poor oral hygiene.

1. Heart Disease

Oral health and heart disease can be linked due to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. If left untreated, it can lead to the spread of bacteria throughout the body, which can travel through the bloodstream. This can cause inflammation and damage to the heart and the heart’s vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease. 

Here are some problems that can occur when bacteria travel to the arteries:

  • Atherosclerosis – is when plaque develops on and thickens your arteries’ inner walls, and the blood flow is decreased throughout the body, which could lead to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Endocarditis – is when the inner lining of the heart becomes infected and inflamed.

 2. Respiratory Illnesses

The bacteria responsible for periodontitis (as mentioned above) is associated with both respiratory illnesses and poor oral hygiene. The bacteria can infiltrate the respiratory tract from the mouth, leading to various serious infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

 3. Diabetes

Individuals with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing gum disease, which can cause a rise in blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar levels can further worsen complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, blood vessel damage, vision impairment, kidney disease, and nerve damage.

4. Pregnancy Complications

Being pregnant can increase the risk of oral health problems, which can have an impact on your pregnancy if not treated as soon as possible. There have been some studies which show a link between gum disease and premature birth. This is why it is important to ensure you have good oral hygiene so you have a healthy and safe pregnancy.

It is essential to let your dentist know that you are pregnant so that they can take extra precautions to look after you and your baby.

 5. Cancer

Poor oral hygiene is associated with a higher risk of developing cancer, especially oral cancer. The risk of oral cancer is higher for people who smoke or drink alcohol. This is why it is essential to maintain good oral health and to have regular appointments. If you notice any signs or symptoms of poor dental hygiene, then it is best to contact a dentist for an appointment so they can advise you on the best steps to take.

How To Improve Your Oral Hygiene

As mentioned above, good oral hygiene is very important as it affects your overall health. Here are steps you can follow to prevent these health conditions:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day – it is recommended to brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. An electric toothbrush would be the best choice to use as this will clean your gums and teeth much better than a manual toothbrush.
  • Floss daily – flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth as it removes plaque below the gum line, which can result in the tooth enamel being eroded and then developing into tartar, causing discolouration. 
  • Brush your tongue – bacteria can build up on your tongue, leading to cavities and gum disease. It is best to brush your tongue after brushing your teeth, but make sure you don’t do it too hard, as this could break the skin.
  • Limit sugary and acidic food/drinks – sugary and acidic food/drinks are one of the main causes of tooth decay and tooth erosion because they cause your enamel to weaken and demineralise over time.
  • Use mouthwash but not straight after brushing your teeth – using mouthwash helps prevent tooth decay, but it is best to use it after eating instead of after brushing as it will wash away the fluoride toothpaste left on your teeth.
  • Visit the dentist at least twice yearly – routine dental appointments and hygienist cleans are essential for good oral health. Your dentist can look for cavities and be able to spot potential issues, and offer advice. 
  • Avoid smoking – smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease and oral cancer. It is recommended to avoid these products for your oral health. 
  • Visit the dental hygienist at least twice a year – a dental hygienist will carefully remove any hard tartar that builds up on your teeth and advise you on how to care for your teeth.

Start Looking After Your Oral Hygiene Today

As poor oral hygiene can have many effects on your health, we recommend that if you are experiencing any symptoms, please contact us or call us on 01709 917666 and one of our team members will be able to advise you.

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