Do Bad Teeth Lead to Serious Health Issues? Facts About Dental Care and Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Dr. James Reisman and Dr. Jordana Contrucci of C R Dental Group know the importance of good oral hygiene and its impact on overall health. There are many studies, and ongoing research, that reveal the link between oral health and various diseases. Almost all of these relate to the bacteria in the mouth getting into the blood stream and building up in the arteries. They warn that taking dental health for granted can be costly in the long run with the resulting effects leading to other diseases and health issues.

Neglecting your teeth and gums can increase the risk of diabetes.

Researchers from the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, led by Dr. Raynald Samoa (, “found a positive connection between poor glucose tolerance and missing teeth.” When bad dental hygiene causes periodontitis, bacteria can actually enter the bloodstream and harden the arteries increasing the possibility for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. This study also shows that “people with chronic respiratory disease have worse dental health than those who don’t. The harmful bacteria in the mouth can get aspirated into the lungs, causing pneumonia, infections and other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.”

Scientific evidence suggests that bad oral hygiene can also be linked to degenerative neural diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“It is believed the bacteria enters the brain through the nerve channels or the blood.” Periodontal disease has been associated with endometriosis and infertility in women, as well as erectile dysfunction in men, by causing inflammation and blockages in the blood vessels once absorbed into the bloodstream.

And if you thought only smoking and chewing tobacco causes oral cancers, you are mistaken!

As a matter of fact, studies have revealed the link to many types of cancers due to neglect of oral health. “At the root of all the aforementioned health problems is oral bacteria proliferated by gum diseases.” It is necessary to consider the mouth as the doorway to the body. By brushing and flossing faithfully, maintaining a healthy diet and regular dental visits, it is possible to keep trouble-causing bacteria at bay.