How Can Your Oral Health Affect Your Overall Health?

How Can Your Oral Health Affect Your Overall Health?
Posted on 11/05/2018

Advice From Your Local Florida Dentist

Everyone knows that poor oral care can lead to cavities, tooth decay, and more. But did you know that if you don’t take care of your smile, you can actually open the door to a host of other health problems? At Dr. Robert Burks Dentistry, we are committed to providing the highest quality dental care, including cosmetic dentistry services, with a compassionate and gentle touch. Dr. Burks and his dedicated staff strive to help our Orlando, Oviedo, and Winter Springs area patients build healthy habits that last a lifetime, so let’s explore some of the conditions that can be caused by poor oral hygiene.

Respiratory Infections

Infected teeth and swollen gums create bacteria that can be breathed into the lungs or travel through the bloodstream. This can lead to respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or more serious issues like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Heart Disease

The same bacteria created by infected gums that may cause respiratory infections can also cause the arteries to harden with plaque buildup. This is very dangerous as it can lead to blood flow blockages, and increase the risks of heart attack or stroke.


Gum disease causes blood sugar levels to rise to a higher than normal, which increases the risk of developing diabetes. In addition, gum disease can worsen the symptoms of diabetes, and diabetics are more prone to other infections as well.


Infected gums release substances that, when spread through the bloodstream and to the nerve channels, kills brain cells and can lead to memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer's.

Fertility & Pregnancy Complications

Believe it or not, poor oral health can have negative effects on a couple’s ability to get and stay pregnant. Gum disease and chronic periodontal disease can cause conception to be delayed, and contribute to erectile dysfunction in men. Additionally, during pregnancy, hormonal changes can make expectant mothers much more susceptible to oral infections. This can put her and her baby at risk for pregnancy complications such as premature birth and low birth weight brought on by such problems as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Types of Cancer

Cancers such as kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers have all been linked to gum disease. In addition, and most obviously, oral habits such as smoking and using tobacco may lead to mouth or throat cancers.

Protect Your Health With Regular Dental Visits in Winter Springs!

In addition to maintaining regular visits to your local dentist, the best way to protect your health is to practice good oral hygiene. You should brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals. Eat a well-balanced diet, keep your sugar intake minimal, and avoid smoking and tobacco products. It’s also important to make sure that the toothpaste and mouthwash you use contain fluoride, which helps protect the mouth.

Contact Your Dentist Today!

Here at Dr. Robert Burks Dentistry, we believe that everyone deserves a beautiful, healthy smile. We love helping our Winter Springs, Oviedo, and Orlando, FL area patients maintain their dental health through our wide range of services and cosmetic dentistry treatments. If you have any questions related to dental health or any of the services we provide, we encourage you to contact us or schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon!