Mouth & Body Relationship

Research has linked oral health with diseases that affect the entire body. Like many areas of the body, your mouth and body are teeming with bacteria — most of them positive and beneficial. Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep the negative bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, negative bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

In addition, certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.

When the mouth becomes infected or inflamed, it may enter the blood stream and cause infection and inflammation elsewhere in the body. Studies suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease — plays a role in some diseases.

Heart Disease

Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. A recent analysis shows that the potential heart disease risk for patients with periodontal disease may be even greater than for those with high cholesterol. For too many Americans, this reality hits close to home in that more than 85 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, while more than 200 million American adults have some form of periodontal disease


There is emerging evidence to support the existence of a two-way relationship between diabetes and periodontitis, with diabetes increasing the risk for periodontitis, and periodontal inflammation negatively affecting glycaemic control. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and more severe among those with diabetes.


Osteoporosis and periodontitis both have been connected to bone loss. Osteoporosis attacks the long bones in the arms and legs, whereas gum disease affects the jawbone. Both conditions affect men and women differently. It is best that you consult your periodontist and general practitioner to see if either of these conditions is complicating your health.


Recently oral health, especially poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease, influences respiratory disease. The mouth is home to many harmful bacteria. Oral bacteria may play a role in the pathogenesis (cause of a disease) of respiratory diseases, and poor oral care may make you more vulnerable to respiratory infections.