The Connection Between Oral and General Health

Regardless of whether you’re struggling with tooth loss or want to prevent it, excellent oral health hygiene is essential and is tightly linked to your overall health.

Looking after your teeth with help you battle serious conditions such as cavities and gum disease, which in turn helps you stay away from diseases like heart disease, stroke, and dementia among others.

Are you an avid smoker? Do you regularly miss brushing and flossing? Do you tend to chew on sturdy materials like ice? These poor habits may seem insignificant but they have a tremendous impact on your oral health. Moreover, they could lead to cavities, inflamed gums and toothaches. Worst case scenario, if not taken care of on time – something as simple as sore gums can deteriorate into tooth loss. Why should you pay attention? Our oral health predetermines other aspects of our life ranging from what we eat to our overall wellbeing.   Since our bodies function as one entire system, our general health affects our oral health and vice versa.

Why does it matter? There is no short answer to this, but you ought to know that oral diseases are rarely confined to the mouth only. For example – the bacteria that cause gum infection are transferred to other parts of the body through the bloodstream if not taken care of on time.

Want to know more about what are the most common causes of tooth loss in adults and what diseases can cause your teeth to fall out? Stay tuned while we explore the link between oral health and the most common diseases that take a toll on our overall wellbeing and social life.

Medical conditions connected to oral health

Kidney disease

There is a significantly higher risk of developing infections and gum disease if your immune system is compromised by kidney disease. Periodontal infection is associated with pain and difficulty when eating, and unpleasant mouth odours. What’s more, it can trigger chronic inflammation such as heart disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Did you know that in the past Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine) suggested the use of tooth extraction to remedy arthritis?  Researchers suggest that patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience oral health issues such as periodontitis gum disease, dry mouth or problems with the jaws & peripheral joints.


If blood sugar is not well-controlled, oral health issues are bound to develop. Oral health research shows that the link between oral health and diabetes lay in weakened white cells. Furthermore, it causes severe bone remodelling and deficient mineralization. High blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) in diabetics delays the healing of the bone around the dental implants. They are the body’s first line of defence against harmful bacteria that cause infections in the oral cavity.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease pathology is characterized by stiffness in the jaw bone and muscles – essentially due to hyperfunction. It is a neurological disorder and it makes it extremely hard to chew and swallow because muscles are constantly active. This has a dramatic effect on your eating habits and causes a change in your everyday diet. As a result, essential nutrients are not properly consumed, affecting your overall health. Worse, patients with Parkinson’s are exposed to a significantly higher risk of choking and saliva accumulation in the oral cavity. Medication intake has a tremendous impact on the oral health of patients with Parkinson’s as it can result in severe gum infection.

Heart disease

Heart disease and stroke are directly linked to poor oral health, studies show. But how exactly? Researchers believe that the very same bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum diseases can be transported through the bloodstream to other organs. That way it causes damage to blood vessels and inflammation even in the heart and the brain. If these bacteria reach the brain and stop the blood supply, they can even cause a stroke.

Cognitive decline

Elevated tooth loss increases the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and this fact is massively overlooked. In the largest study of this kind – 34,000 patients in the US researchers found that there is a 1,4% increased risk of cognitive impairment and 1,1% dementia. Brushing and flossing regularly prevent the occurrence of severe periodontal gum disease.

Oral health conditions and risk factors for tooth loss

Nowadays oral health diseases are preventable and can be treated if caught at an early stage. Still, to the present day, they affect nearly 3.5 billion people according to WHO. 

The majority of these cases include tooth decay, gum diseases, oral trauma or oral cancer etc. Still, the number one condition is dental caries, estimated to affect more than 2 billion people globally. It develops from plaque that forms over the dental surface as a result of eating sugary foods and drinks. Prolonged high consumption of sugars and poor oral care (regular brushing and flossing) can lead to cavities, inflammation and tooth loss.

7 other risk factors that can attribute to tooth loss:

  • Not getting professional dental care (due to dental phobia)
  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor oral hygiene (not brushing or flossing)
  • Having arthritis
  • Being male

Most factors like your sex, age or whether you’re genetically predisposed to certain diseases are not within our control. Others, on the other hand – such as maintaining excellent oral hygiene – are largely dependent on your habits and discipline.

3 issues that can prevent you from having dental implants

Research shows that tooth loss results in the inability to maintain a well-balanced diet which leads to poor nutrition. Toothless patients consume fewer fruit and vegetables. And we all know that this also means less vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, fluorine, vitamin C, vitamin D, carotene fibre etc.

In turn, they go for unhealthier food options such as processed or ultra-processed food that is packed with cholesterol and saturated fats.

What’s next? Poor nutrition choices are associated with high rates of various ailments like cancer, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, increased obesity and many more.

What’s worse, as it is all connected – deteriorated health and overall quality of life of toothless patients are strongly affected. They report suffering from low self-confidence and poor emotional well-being. People with severe tooth loss have also a shattered social life because they are embarrassed to speak or smile. Not to mention feeling self-conscious about eating in front of others, which inevitably results in isolation.

Fixed teeth over dental implants can change that. They can improve every aspect of your life because they are natural-looking and extremely durable. The zirconia teeth over implants are 10 times stronger than tooth enamel. The shade of the teeth is highly customizable which means that you can go for either a Hollywood smile or a more natural look if you prefer.

Still, before you opt for dental implant treatment you need to attend a detailed oral and dental examination at Dentaprime to ensure that nothing is standing between you and your new dream smile with fixed teeth over dental implants.


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Gum disease

Gingivitis is a severe oral infection that destroys the soft tissue and can cause your implants to fail or even prevent you from having them in the first place. This inflammatory disease destroys not only your gum tissue but also has a detrimental effect on your jawbone. These two are vital for the successful outcome of the dental implantation treatment. There needs to be a solid foundation for the implants before the actual implantation process. Your dentist may carry out remedial treatment before placing the dental implants. Corrective procedures such as bone grafting create more bone mass and a stable surface to place the implants.

Poor bone density

Insufficient jaw bone density can be a result of different causes and not only caused but severe gum infection. If you have been wearing removable dentures for many years, your jawbone is likely to have started melting. This is a natural process in the body- since there are no natural teeth to hold on to, the body resorbs the jawbone as it sees no purpose to have it any longer. In such cases, bone grafts are done so that dental implants can be placed a few months later.

Other medical conditions

Any reputable dental professional will be adamant about learning more about your medical history and medications that you may take before attempting to do any dental implantation. Why? There are previous or existing medical conditions that can either completely prevent you from having dental implants or increase the risk of implant failure. Such are cancer or uncontrolled diabetes -cancer for instance affects the future state of the soft tissue and jawbone. Other conditions, however, such as osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, mental diseases, sleep apnea etc. completely prevent you from having implants done because of elevated dental implant failure risks.

Bringing it all together

If you have lost your teeth and want to make sure you keep your implants intact, you need to form new, healthy habits in the long run. This way you will ensure to make the dental implant process easier and work towards the longevity of your replacement teeth. Dental implants with fixed teeth are the most sustainable and natural-looking alternative to tooth loss. Regardless of whether you’re struggling with tooth loss or want to prevent it, excellent oral health hygiene is essential and is tightly linked to your overall health. Looking after your teeth with help you battle serious conditions such as cavities and gum disease, which in turn helps you stay away from diseases like heart disease, stroke, and dementia among others.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure your oral health is properly taken care of, you need to be able to rely on your dentist to help you overcome any conditions or diseases that are preventing you from getting dental implants. With a little patience, some work and perseverance, you can still be able to change your life for the better, smile with confidence and eat your favourite foods again with comfort.