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If the mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, then your teeth are the guards. Keeping your teeth in good shape is essential to the health of your body, but not many people know about the links between good dental hygiene and good overall health. As a general rule, people who take good care of their teeth with also take good care of the rest of their bodies. Here are just some of the health problems that are linked to bad teeth...

Heart problems

Plaque is a sticky substance that can build up on your teeth and stain your smile. This sticky substance is the same stuff that can also build up in your arteries and cause them to narrow and lead to many health problems, including heart attacks. The link between dental plaque and heart plaque is entirely understood, but it is thought that it makes its way into your heart valves through the stomach wall. 

Breathing problems

If you have any dental infections, this can lead to a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. When you breathe in, this bacteria can transfer to your lungs which can lead to inflammation. This inflammation can then lead to breathing problems, particularly in older people. Visiting the dentist frequently and ensuring you brush regularly can help to lower this risk.

Digestive problems

If you have problems with your bite or are missing teeth, this can lead to problems with your digestive system. If you aren’t able to chew your food properly, then you won’t be starting the digestive process properly. Chewing your food is an essential part of this and can lead to problems with your stomach as it will have to work harder to digest your food.


People with poor oral hygiene are more likely to develop diabetes and vice versa. It’s thought that poor diet is linked to both diabetes and oral health. There is also evidence to suggest that poor blood glucose level management can lead to higher levels of gum disease as a result of changes in the saliva. Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to other complications including tooth loss.

Visiting your dentist regularly is the best way to ensure good oral health and avoid dangerous complications. I’m lucky, as I like just around the corner from the dentist in Warrington, but this isn’t the case for everyone. More needs to be done to make dental care accessible and affordable for everyone.

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