Links Between Oral and General Health

Even though the American Dental Association recommends going to a dentist at least twice a year, many people skip their routine visits either because they have a fear of the dentist or do not feel they need to see one because they are not experiencing any oral pain.

Interestingly, going for routine oral exam is not only good for your oral health, but dentists can also pick up on general health issues during your oral examination that could end up saving your life if the problem had been undetected.

What is the relationship between oral and general health?

Like other parts of your body, your mouth is filled with bacteria, which are kept in check with good oral hygiene and your body’s natural defenses. If you do not practice good oral hygiene, the bacteria in your mouth can reach levels high enough to cause oral infections like tooth decay and gum disease.

According to research, oral bacteria and the inflammation caused by severe gum disease play a big role in the diseases you get. In some cases, already having diseases like HIV/AIDS and diabetes lowers the body’s ability to resist infections, making oral problems worse.

Which health conditions are linked to oral health?

Lack of proper oral hygiene can contribute to various diseases, including:

Cardiovascular disease

According to research, clogged arteries, heart disease and strokes can be linked to the infections and inflammations caused by oral bacteria.

Premature birth

Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, has been linked to premature births and low birth weight in infants.


This is an infection of the lining of your heart brought on when the bacteria in your mouth spread through your bloodstream and attach themselves to damaged parts of your heart, creating a much bigger problem.


This is a double-edged sword because it is caused by your body not being able to process sugar at a normal rate, and it affects both your oral and general health. Diabetes reduces your body’s ability to resist infections, which put your gums at risk. The good news is that research shows that periodontal care improves diabetes control.


This causes your bones to weaken, and it is more common in women than men. Fortunately, this disease can be treated with medicine, but the drug used to treat it has the potential to damage the bones in your jaw.


Your dentist can determine if you have HIV or AIDs during a routine exam because people with HIV/AIDS have oral problems like mucosal lesions.

There are other general health problems that are linked to oral health, which is why it is important to practice good oral hygiene.

How do I protect my oral and general health?

When it comes to many of these diseases, there is no way to completely protect yourself. But you can reduce your chances of getting them by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly and seeing your dentist at least twice a year.


Studies have shown that there is a relationship between oral and general health. If you want to reduce your chances of having a serious health issue down the line, practice good oral hygiene and ask your dentist for tips on how to prevent disease.

Request an appointment here: or call Family Choice Dental at (505) 634-5541 for an appointment in our Albuquerque office.

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