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How Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

How Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

We already know how important it is to brush our teeth twice a day, keeping our teeth and gums healthy and strong. But our oral health is just as important in protecting our overall health. Our oral health can affect the health of the rest of our body and give doctors an insight into the rest of our health. Read on to learn how oral health impacts our overall health.

How Can Oral Health Affect Overall Health?

Since the mouth is the entryway to both the digestive tract and the respiratory system, harmful bacteria can cause disease or other problems. With good dental hygiene, your body can kill these harmful bacteria before they cause problems.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Oral health and heart disease are often linked together, as well as other cardiovascular diseases, clogged arteries, and stroke. Certain gum diseases, such as periodontitis, have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.


In people with diabetes, gum disease can be more frequent and severe, and people with gum disease may find it harder to control their blood sugar levels. Regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.


Oral health has implications for pregnant women as well. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. A pregnant woman's oral health can significantly impact her child's health, making regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene habits essential during pregnancy.


Bacteria from your mouth can enter your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

How Can Overall Health Affect Oral Health?

On the flip side, other health issues can affect your oral health, making it harder to fight off disease and infection. Medications, such as antidepressants, diuretics, and painkillers, can reduce saliva flow, which is vital in washing away bacteria to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease. Some of the medications used in treating osteoporosis also carry a small risk of damage to your teeth and bones in your jaw.

How Can Oral Health Be a Diagnostic Tool for Overall Health?

Your oral health can also serve as a diagnostic tool for doctors. Several systemic diseases, including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and osteoporosis, may become apparent as mouth lesions or other oral health issues. Even more, systemic diseases—those that affect the entire body, such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS—can first manifest themselves through mouth sores or other oral problems. Because of signs in your oral health, your doctors may be able to catch systemic diseases in their early stages when they are most treatable.

How To Protect Your Oral and Overall Health

Maintaining oral health involves more than just brushing and flossing. A healthy diet, avoiding tobacco use, and regular dental visits are vital in preventing oral health issues and catching problems early.

At ATRIO Health Plans, we know how important your overall health is. We offer affordable and comprehensive plans so you can ensure your oral and overall health are in the best hands.

Visit us online or give us a call at (877) 672-8620 to learn more about our bigger and better benefits.