Relation Between Oral Hygiene and Your Overall Health


How well do you care for your teeth and gums? Do you know the powerful effect the oral hygiene have on your overall health? Neglecting your oral health is one of the biggest mistake you can make that could have an adverse effect on your overall health. If you do not take care of the oral health it will lead to more than just the bad breath, sore teeth and can open doors to all sorts of health problems such as the pretty nasty diseases like the oral cancer.

Researchers have found the possible connections between the gum problems, heart diseases, stroke, bacterial pneumonia and even problem with pregnancies due to neglected oral health.

As per Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA) and a formoer clinical instructor at the Boston University Dental School, you cannot really be healthy with an unhealthy mouth any more than one can be healthy with an infected foot.

Role of Diet and Lifestyle in Oral Health

The role of diet and lifestyle in oral health could be defined in terms of income level, social class, habits, education, environment and culture. All these could influence the occurrence of oral diseases. Oral disease are closely associated to the lidestyle, the dental health encompasses the likelihood of making healthy choices in association with smoking, diet, tobacco, oral hygiene and uses of dental health services.

The unhealthy diet pattern consisting of sugary diet, bakery products and carbonated drinks have increased the prevalence of dental caries especially among children and adolescents.

Good oral hygiene aims to reduce the amount of plaque bacteria around the teeth which plays a huge part to causes tooth decay. Another important factor is the presence of sugar from the diet.

There are a number of dietary habits and lifestyle factors that affect oral health such as:

Sugary diet

Having a sugar laden diet will contribute to tooth decay and gum problems such as bacteria in the mouth thrive in this environment. This will procedure the tooth and gum-destroying enzymes and acids.


Dental care experts have long known that smoking cigarettes and cigars as well as using the tobacco products will cause periodontal diseases, oral cancer and tooth decay. The cigars can also cause periodontal disease and pharyngeal or throat cancer. The smoke from tobacco has a toxic effect on gum tissue and can interfere with the blood flow. Smoking will stain the heck out of teeth which directly causes oral cancer and can contribute to bad breath.

Drinking alcohol

Drinking will contribute to the oral problems indirectly by resulting in a dehydrated mouth. This will allow bacteria to run rampant. Additionally, people with alcohol addictions are probably less likely to consistently follow good dental care habits.

Changes in weight

People who wear dentures will get affected the way the dentures fit due to body weight changes. Just as the weight gain or loss affects the way the clothes fit; it will also affect the gum pads on which these dentures rest. You should eat a diet rich in high fiber fruits and vegetables to maintain a healthy weight and fight the tooth decay.


Some medications such as antibiotics can cause internal staining of teeth like the tetracycline staining as per the age at which you take them. There are about 200 to 400 medications prescribed and over the counter which has side effects to dry up the saliva. A dry mouth is more prone to gum disease and tooth decay as well as bad breath.


In order to maintain your oral health and overall good health, you should visit the dentist regularly to head off any problems early on. Practice good oral hygiene at home by carefully brushing and flossing your teeth regularly to prevent the accumulation of plaque that causes problems. There is nothing a dentist could do if the patient can’t undo neglecting their oral hygiene.