If you think going to the dentist only benefits the health of your teeth, think again. Taking care of your oral health goes well beyond your mouth, as it can also have a significant impact on your overall health. Here’s a closer look at why optimum oral hygiene is essential to keeping your body in top shape.

The Effects of Poor Oral Hygiene

As a gateway to the rest of the body, any infection that develops in the mouth can affect other bodily functions. For instance, bad oral hygiene can make teeth and gums vulnerable to bacterial infection. If an infection develops, it could release chemicals that affect the rest of the body, including the bones, organs, and even hormone levels. People with poor dental hygiene also often develop sepsis—a condition that causes the immune system to overreact to a blood infection caused by excess bacteria in the mouth.

Health Conditions Connected to Oral Hygiene


dentistInflammation from gum disease can affect the body’s blood sugar levels. Diabetes can also make a patient more vulnerable to gum disease because high levels of blood sugar create the ideal environment for infection.

Heart Disease

Patients with gum disease triple their risk of a cardiovascular problem, such as stroke or heart attack. Though both conditions are caused by an unhealthy diet, obesity, and smoking, some experts believe that inflammation in the mouth can lead to inflamed blood vessels and high blood pressure.


Gum disease and osteoporosis are both associated with excessive bone resorption that may accompany hormonal imbalance, inflammation, and bone remodeling. There are theories that gum inflammation can weaken not just the teeth and jawbone, but other bones in the body as well.


If you’re looking for a reputable dentist, check out All Smiles Harrisonburg in Virginia. Specializing in family dentistry, their team of experts is well-versed on tooth extractions, dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, and other oral health services. Their professionals also have extensive experience when it comes to oral surgery, so you can trust your dentist and rest easy. Call (540) 432-1300 to make an appointment, or send a message on their website if you have any questions.