There are obvious signs of poor oral health – like bleeding gums and bad breath.
However, there are also less obvious signs of oral health issues, including bad digestion, clicking of the jaw, and respiratory infections.
Keep reading to discover some of the surprising signs of oral health problems along with science-backed ways to support the health of your gum, mouth, and teeth.
1) Obvious Symptoms of Oral Health Problems
First, let’s clear up some obvious symptoms of oral health problems. If you regularly experience any or all of the following symptoms, then you could have an oral health problem:
- Mouth and jaw pain
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth or lost teeth
- Recurring bad breath
- Sores, pain, or pumps in your mouth
All of these issues could be linked to poor oral hygiene. Or, they could be connected to a serious oral disease.
2) Cardiovascular Disease
Oral health problems can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
When you have poor gum and tooth health, it increases the risk of heart disease in the following way:
- Poor oral health increases inflammation in your gums and teeth
- When you don’t brush or floss your teeth regularly, it causes the buildup of harmful bacteria; over time, this bacteria increases inflammation and causes periodontal disease
- When left untreated, bacteria enter your bloodstream, leading to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which is a serious cardiovascular condition
- Atherosclerosis significantly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke
Some studies also connect poor oral health to endocarditis (a fatal condition impacting the lining of your heart).
By cleaning your teeth regularly and practicing good oral hygiene, you can reduce the risk of heart disease – and keep your great smile.
3) Mental Fog
Poor oral health can impact your brain.
When you fail to brush or floss, it causes bacteria to build up throughout your mouth, leading to inflammation. This inflammation can kill brain cells, weaken memory, and contribute to mental fog, among other issues.
When left unaddressed, oral health issues can lead to dementia and other degenerative brain conditions. In fact, some studies suggest certain cases of Alzheimer’s disease are traced back to gingivitis and other harmful oral health conditions.
4) Respiratory Disease and Breathing Problems
Oral health problems can contribute breathing difficulties. Studies show poor oral health leads to poor respiratory health.
When you have poor oral health, it causes harmful bacteria to build up in your mouth. Every time you breathe, some of that harmful bacteria travels into your lungs, where it can contribute to serious respiratory conditions.
Some studies have linked poor oral health to respiratory infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and COPD, among other issues.
Diabetics are more susceptible to oral health problems – including gum infections. However, gum disease and diabetes can also create a feedback loop, which each condition making the other worse:
- When you ignore oral health issues like infected gums, it can imbalance blood sugar
- Diabetics already have imbalanced blood sugar, and oral health problems can make this imbalance worse
- As the imbalance grows worse, diabetics may struggle to manage their condition with diet, exercise, and medication
As diabetes and gum disease get worse, it worsens overall health and can lead to more significant problems.
6) Other Surprising Symptoms of Oral Health Problems
Other conditions that could trace their roots to oral health problems include:
Infertility: Studies show gum disease increases the risk of infertility in women. Oral health problems can make it difficult for women to conceive a child and carry that child to term.
Erectile Dysfunction: Men with oral health problems have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. In fact, multiple studies have connected chronic periodontal disease (CPD) with ED. CPD occurs when gums pull away from teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can thrive. As bacteria enters these pockets and thrives, it leads to inflammation of the blood vessels, which can worsen symptoms of ED.
Autoimmune Disorders: People with gum disease tend to have weaker immune systems. Your immune system is battling against your oral health infection, which means it may not be powerful enough to fight other infections throughout your body. Oral health problems could increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions linked to autoimmunity.
Kidney Disease: Those same immune system issues can worsen symptoms of kidney disease. If you have gum disease, your weakened immune system could make you more susceptible to kidney disease.
How to Support Oral Health: What Does Science Say?
There are multiple proven, science-backed ways to support oral health.
Here are some of the best ways to support oral health and support your body’s natural defenses against the conditions listed above
- Practice normal oral hygiene habits by brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day
- Floss your teeth daily
- Avoid tobacco
- Limit the consumption of sugary foods and beverages
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Visit a dentist regularly for checkups and formal screenings
At Science Nutrition Lab, we can screen your blood for signs of infection and disease sing a painless, at-home blood test.
Plus, we use Science Based Nutrition testing to compare your bloodwork against an optimal range based on your age and health – not against a random selection of people who recently visited a lab.
Your blood shows signs of health problems long before symptoms appear. Even if you think you have perfect oral health, your blood could be rich with harmful bacteria causing inflammation and immune dysfunction throughout your body.
Order your at-home testing kit from Science Nutrition Lab today.