Ways your mouth affects your overall health

3 ways your mouth affects your overall health that you probably didn’t know


When your oral health is poor, the impact can be felt in ways you might not expect. Here, learn about how it benefits you to ensure your oral health is consistently strong. 

1. Oral bacteria can contribute to many other diseases

Oral health is a portal to your overall health. There is now scientific research linking harmful bacteria in the mouth to the rise of more serious diseases, including but not limited to periodontal disease (advanced stage gum disease). Examples of diseases that are now linked to the bacteria found in plaque and elsewhere in the mouth include serious killers like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and others.

2. Oral health can affect speech and breathing

If you are under a lot of stress or have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth at night while you sleep, you may be at greater risk to develop TMJ (temporomandibular jaw disease). TMJ is linked to a host of more serious issues, including speech impairment and breathing difficulties. TMJ is a basic misalignment of the teeth and jaw that places strain on other areas of the body and can also cause headaches, insomnia, digestive issues, and even struggles with balance and depression.

3. Oral health can affect the outcome of pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning to conceive, it is important to understand the link between oral health and healthy birth. Higher concentrations of harmful mouth bacteria that can lead to gum disease can also contribute to premature birth and low weight birth. Moms should be extra-cautious about taking care of oral and dental health to safeguard the health of their growing baby.

Safeguard your oral health

Once you understand all the ways your mouth affects your overall health, the motivation to maintain oral health grows stronger. The best way to safeguard oral health is to:

  • brush twice daily
  • floss at least once daily
  • visit your dentist for cleanings every six months
  • minimize drying and highly sugary or starchy foods
  • use antiseptic mouthwashes
  • correct any misalignments with your bite or the jaw joint.

By following a regular routine of oral hygiene, you protect not just your teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth but every organ and system in your body.

Learn more

If you have any questions about oral health, please ask and I’ll reply by tomorrow.

About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)

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