How Oral Health Can Affect Your Overall Health

woman with long brunette hair wearing a black hat and denim shirt smiling and looking away

The team at Villa Vista Dental encourages you brush and floss regularly, and to keep consistent with your biannual dental checkups. Of course, we all want you have to have a healthy mouth so you can smile, talk, and eat easily and happily. But did you know that your physician would also want you to do the same?

It’s more than just your teeth and your breath on the line when you neglect your oral health. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research shared a report from the US Surgeon General on Oral Health in America back in 2000 that focused on the relationship between oral health and general health and well-being. The Surgeon General even called the mouth “a mirror” reflecting general health or disease status.

Tobacco Use & Diet

Lifestyle behaviors like smoking and poor diet clearly affect both your oral health and your overall health. For instance, smoking has negative cosmetic effects, like bad breath and tobacco-stained teeth, and smoking also increases your chances of developing cancers of the mouth and lungs. A diet that is high in sugar increases your risk for cavities and it is also a risk factor for general health concerns, like diabetes and obesity.

Gum Disease

Researchers involved with Dentistry Network found that people with periodontitis, or gum disease, are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease. The link between the two is partly due to bacteria. Those with gum disease have inflammation in their infected gum tissue and through normal chewing or brushing allow that bacteria into the blood steam. Gum disease is also connected to stoke, although what exactly makes these two problems correlated is still being studied.


If you have diabetes, you already have an increased risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease also makes it harder to manage diabetes. Periodontitis and diabetes feed off each, so uncontrolled periodontitis worsens diabetes symptoms and poorly controlled diabetes will worsen periodontitis.


The American Academy of Periodontology and European Federation of Periodontology have linked periodontitis to an increased risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight baby. It’s always important to maintain good oral health, and it’s especially important during pregnancy.

Your mouth and body are connected and so complications in one can (and often do) affect the other. While it’s not the whole equation, a healthy mouth is a key part of a healthy body. The foundation for good oral health and hygiene begins in at the dentist. If you’re due for a dental checkup, call us today!

Plan your next dental visit to Villa Vista Dental!