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Carrington College Blog

How Does My Oral Health Impact My Overall Health?

September 2, 2015

Put your money where your mouth is! The health of your mouth, teeth and gums can have a big impact on your overall health.

We know you’re busy. You’ve got school, work and you want to have a social life every once in a while right? That doesn’t mean you can stop taking care of your teeth! Making your oral health a top priority will keep your whole body in better shape. No, brushing your teeth won’t give you those six pack abs you’ve been longing for, but the more you take care of yourself now, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Having bad oral health habits can lead to problems all over the place. We’re breaking down just a few of the health issues you could face if you neglect your mouth.


You know your dentist and dental hygienist want you to have healthy gums…they’re not the only ones! Research shows people whose gums are in bad shape tend to have bigger health issues. According to the American Dental Association an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes has been linked to unhealthy gums.

If you have diabetes and gum disease it could be even harder to control your blood sugar levels. That’s because germs from the infected gums get into your bloodstream after brushing teeth or chewing. Those germs cause your body’s defenses to kick into high gear and that can lead to higher blood sugar levels. That means brushing and flossing regularly are even more important to keep you healthy.

Bad joints

No bones about it, how you take care of your mouth impacts the way you move and groove. Arthritis probably isn’t even on your radar, but you know it’s something your parents or grandparents probably have to deal with. A study in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology suggests bacteria from your mouth heads straight to your joints. Having bacteria like this in your joints can actually make arthritis worse!

Cardiovascular disease

Do you “heart” having a healthy smile? Well your heart loves it too! A study in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology showed people with periodontal disease have a 25 percent greater risk of having heart disease. Research suggests heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke could be linked to the inflammation and infections oral bacteria can cause.

Pregnancy problems

How can your teeth impact your baby before he’s even born? A study in Everyday Health found women who develop gum disease while they’re pregnant are four to seven times more likely to have their baby early. Premature birth isn’t good for anyone, so if you’re pregnant or hoping to start a family soon, make sure you monitor your oral health.

So how can you make sure you’re protecting your overall health through your oral health? Make sure you’re brushing your teeth twice a day. Also, floss every day. Having regular dental appointments is important too. Trust us…taking care of that beautiful smile will pay off big time!

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