Relation Between Oral Hygiene and Your Overall Health

Many health problems like heart disease have been associated with poor oral well-being. You can minimize the risk of such health problems by changing certain habits, which, in turn, improve your oral hygiene.

The level of care you give to your teeth and gums strongly influences your overall health.

Neglecting your oral health has far worse consequences than a sore teeth or bad breath. Poor oral hygiene opens the door to a wide range of health issues including oral cancer. Studies suggests a strong connection between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, and even problems during pregnancy.

Role of Diet and Lifestyle in Oral Health

Your eating habit and lifestyle plays an important role in determining your oral hygiene.

Sugary diet: Excessive sugar consumption can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Bacteria that resides in the mouth react with sugar to form acid that eats away the enamel, ultimately damaging your teeth and gum.

Smoking: It goes without saying that smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products can cause severe oral conditions. These are the main causes of oral cancer, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. Smoking cigars can also lead to periodontal disease and throat/ pharyngeal cancer. The smoke from tobacco is toxic and affects the gum tissue; it also affects the blood flow. Not only this, smoking or consuming tobacco stains your teeth and can cause bad breath.

Drinking alcohol: Consumption of alcohol indirectly contribute to oral problems. Alcohol cause dehydration and makes your mouth dry. This is a favorable condition for the bacteria to thrive, thereby increasing the risk of all kinds of oral health issue. Moreover, alcoholic people are less likely to practice good dental care habits.

Changes in weight: Just as weight gain or loss affects the way your clothes fit, chances in weight affect those people who wear dentures. Poorly fitted dentures has been identified as a cause of oral cancer. Following a diet rich in fibrous fruits and vegetables is key to maintaining a healthy weight. The fibrous content in the food also enhances your oral well-being.

Medication: Medications such as antibiotics can cause internal staining of teeth (e.g. tetracycline staining) depending on the age at which you take them. There are hundreds of medications, prescribed or over-the-counter, that reduce the production of saliva. It is a known fact that a dry mouth is more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay.


Having regular oral checkups not only helps maintain your oral hygiene, but it is beneficial for an overall good health. Besides visiting your dentist to ensure good oral health, it is also crucial to develop good oral care habits at home. Practicing good oral care involves brushing for at least two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day. The purpose of these activities is to eliminate the accumulation of plaque, which is the root cause of tooth decay and other oral health problems. Visit a Dentist in Greenpoint.