Teeth Whitening London

Oral health: The connection with your general health .

We all know that oral health is important, but not just for cosmetic reasons. Did you know that it can affect on your general health? Your oral health can offer substantial clues about your body and identifies how your mouth, teeth and gums can have an impact on your overall health.

The link between your mouth and body

Poor oral hygiene can easily be hidden inside your mouth and is relatively easy to dismiss,, this makes it easy for gum disease to develop and go unnoticed. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. This is caused by a build of bacteria and plaque. Too much of this bacteria will cause your gums to inflame and bleed. The inflammation affects your blood stream and over a long period of time, this can damage your blood vessels which lead to vital organs such as your brain and heart. Many people don’t realise that gum disease can lead to further problems in your body and it can also increase complications in those with existing medical conditions.

What health problems could oral health be linked with?

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Strokes
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Respiratory problems
  • Mental Health

Heart disease and Strokes

Your mouth plays a key role in keeping your heart healthy. People with gum disease are twice as more likely to develop heart disease or complications of the heart. This is because gum disease affects the blood flow to your heart as bacteria enters your bloodstream. The build up of bacteria on your bloodstream can cause inflammation of blood vessels and produce protein. The protein causes platelets in the blood to stick together inside your blood vessels, which leads to clots forming. These clots reduce normal blood flow and deprives the heart of vital oxygen and nutrients it needs. This could ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke. .


People with diabetes are particularly vulnerable when it comes to gum disease. Diabetics are more prone to developing infections due to their low immunity. This make infections longer and more difficult to heal. Gum disease increases the blood sugar which can affect diabetic with a range of complications. Because of the increase of blood sugar, gum disease can cause diabetes to develop in those who did not previously have it.

Pregnancy complications

Pregnant women who have gum disease are more likely to have complications such as premature birth or low birth weight babies. This is because the biological chemicals from the bacteria build up in the saliva and get into the bloodstream. The level of chemicals can cause premature labour which can lead to a range of problems for your baby.


Gum disease can cause a range of respiratory infections. Chest infections can be caught by breathing in small droplets of bacteria from the mouth and throat. Bacterial chest infections can develop into pneumonia which can be life threatening. The elderly and asthmatics are particularly vulnerable as their low immune systems make it harder to recover, therefore it is vital that they practice good oral hygiene.

Mental health

A mouth full of cavities and missing teeth can have a dramatic effect on your mental health. Simple things like smiling or eating can bring on feelings of embarrassment and shame which can lead to depression. Almost everyone has had a dream about losing their teeth at some point in their lives, most people refer to them as nightmares and rightly so. It is very rare you will find someone who isn’t embarrassed by missing or rotten teeth. Depression can come in waves or spiral out of control, it can affect your overall emotional and general wellbeing.

Steps to ensure good oral health

It is important to maintain good oral health and visit a dentist on a regular basis. It is important that you inform and update your dentist of any pregnancy or medical conditions so appropriate steps can be taken to ensure you receive the correct treatment. It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. Daily habits are important to your oral health such as: Maintaining a healthy weight, exercise, diet and quitting smoking. Smokers produce more bacterial plaque than non-smokers and are more likely to develop gum disease. Large amounts of sugary foods or drinks can also produce larger amounts of plaque. Gum disease can be reversed ensuring you follow the steps to good oral hygiene, unfortunately it can also get worse if not treated.