Truth be told, like other parts of your body, your mouth is filled with bacteria – though often harmless. But without the proper oral care, these bacteria can get out of control and lead to oral infections like gum disease and tooth decay which play a pivotal role in leading conditions such as diabetes and heart-related problems.
In other words, your teeth and your gums can affect the rest of your body. Here are the other effects of poor oral care on health.
Effects of Poor Oral Health Care
Without proper oral care, various diseases may arise. Among them include:
When bacteria from your mouth spread through your bloodstream and reach certain areas of your heart, the inner lining of your heart or valves gets infected, also known as endocarditis. This is especially true for people with congenital heart defects, damaged/artificial heart valves, or other heart defects.
Some studies suggest that oral bacteria can actually cause heart disease, stroke, and clogged arteries. If bacteria from the gums infects the bloodstream, plaque may build up in the arteries and harden. This is actually a dangerous situation and can lead to heart blockages and blood flow problems, which also increases the risk of having a heart attack, hypertension, and even stroke.
Birth complications and pregnancy
One of the effects of poor oral care on health also includes birth complications and pregnancy. Periodontitis or the inflammation of the gums is often associated with premature childbirth and low birth weight. Because of the hormones produced during pregnancy, aggravated by poor oral care, a condition called Pregnancy gingivitis is also common among pregnant women, which often disappears after childbirth.
Pneumonia and other respiratory infections
When bacteria from your mouth gets pulled into your lungs, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases such as acute bronchitis and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic inflammatory lung disease that prevents airflow from the lungs, may happen.
Poor oral care also involves smoking and using tobacco products and this can lead to cancers such as oral and throat cancers. But of course, gum diseases have also been linked to other types of cancers such as pancreatic, kidney, and blood cancer.