April 11, 2022

According to a dentist in Pekin, IL, everything in your body is interconnected. What happens in one area can affect the rest. Did you know that your oral health can significantly impact your overall health? Many take their oral health for granted, thinking that their only concerns are tooth decay and gum disease. They don’t realize that seemingly minor oral health issues can dramatically escalate and lead to severe consequences if left untreated.

illustration of decaying tooth showed by a dentist in Pekin, IL

How Can Your Oral Health Affect Your General Health and Well-Being?

Disease Conditions Affected by the State of Your Oral Health

Heart Disease

You may think that heart disease only affects middle-aged individuals with high cholesterol levels, but did you know that young people can suffer from heart disease too? Research shows that gum disease can predispose you to heart disease.  

How this happens is not a mystery. The bacteria causing inflammation and infection in your gum tissues can penetrate your bloodstream and make their way into your arteries, leading to atherosclerosis and endocarditis.

Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque builds up around the inner walls of your heart’s arteries impeding blood flow. The blockage can increase your risk of developing a stroke or a heart attack. Meanwhile, endocarditis is the infection and inflammation of the endocardium or the inner lining of your heart.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

There appears to be a strong correlation between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis.


You may find this hard to believe, but the bacteria responsible for gingivitis can travel to your brain through your bloodstream or nerve channels and cause dementia or memory problems.

Respiratory Problems

Chronic teeth and gum problems can also affect your respiratory system. Studies show that people who inhale bacteria from oral infections for a prolonged period can suffer from lung infections and pneumonia.

Complicate Diabetes

Gum disease can affect your body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. So, if you have diabetes, gum disease will only make it worse. Similarly, people with diabetes are also susceptible to gum disease.

How Can You Protect Your Oral Health?

Despite all these diseases scares, the good news is you can prevent them from happening as long as you practice good oral hygiene. Teach the entire family the value of establishing an oral care routine. Brush your teeth two times a day for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, don’t forget to floss once daily and rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.

Dental checkups are just as important. See your dentist at least once every six months for an oral exam so your dentist can check if your teeth and gums are healthy, and if there are problems, they can be addressed right away before they worsen. It’s also a good opportunity for you to ask your dentist questions about how to improve your oral health.

Another advantage of dental visits is your mouth gets a comprehensive clean. Your dentist has the tools and equipment needed to remove plaque and tartar on the surface of your teeth, especially in hard-to-reach areas that are prone to plaque buildup and decay.

dentist in Pekin, IL asks patient about dental history

Do You Need to See a Dentist in Pekin, IL?  

The bottom line is to take good care of every part of your body, especially your mouth. At Smalltown Dental, our goal is to make you feel comfortable and relaxed while receiving superior dental care. We take pride in our dental team and their years of experience and training in the industry. We use the latest techniques and technology to improve your oral health. Contact us today for an appointment.

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