Poor dental and oral hygiene in general can have far more serious consequences in the long run than a simple toothache caused by a cavity or gum problem.
The body is a systemic and interconnected entity, where what happens at one point has an impact on the opposite, largely thanks to the transport functions of the blood supply.
Thus, an infection in a gum, a cavity or a problem of necrosis at the level of the jawbone, can lead to the increase of certain bacteria whose toxins and by-products affect the heart, the joints, the spine, the stomach, etc.
You can suffer from halitosis
Although not always of oral origin, halitosis can be one of the mildest problems resulting from poor hygiene, but it is no less annoying. According to the Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osseointegration, 90% of halitosis cases are due to mouths in poor condition or poor oral hygiene.
Of these, 70% come from bacteria that live on the back of the tongue and the other 30% correspond to gum conditions, known as periodontal diseases.
Specifically, these bacteria are anaerobic saprophytes and live underneath the saliva, breaking down food debris and producing sulphur, as well as some short-chain volatile fatty acids, called putrescine and cadaverine, due to their strong decomposition odour.
They are also found in infected and inflamed gums and in badly maintained teeth, which may have internal infections that even lead to necrosis of the jawbone. Of course, the more food debris that exists between the teeth or on the tongue, and the more mouths or gums that are infected, the greater the halitosis.
If you’re a woman, you increase your risk of having a preterm birth
According to some experts, periodontitis (gum infection and bleeding) may be a risk factor for pregnancy. These experts associate periodontitis with premature birth and low birth weight.
It seems that periodontitis is associated with the release of hormones called prostaglandins, which are responsible for labor contractions. This is what the book Oral Health in Women states. Prevención a lo largo de la vida, published by the Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osseointegration.
You are more likely to have arthritis
Again, severe periodontitis, related to poor oral hygiene that affects the gums, can cause plaque bacteria to lodge in the space between the tooth and the gum. These bacteria can generate toxic by-products that travel with the saliva to the interior of the stomach and from there to the bloodstream.
Once in the joints, they can cause inflammations in the joints of the hands and feet that are known as rheumatoid arthritis and generate pain when moving the fingers. On the other hand this same pain can make brushing your teeth and gums less long as it is painful and feeds back into the periodontitis.
You’re a candidate for a heart attack
A team from the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Barcelona carried out a literature review entitled Periodontitis as a risk factor in patients with ischemic heart disease, in which they highlighted the close relationship between serious gum infections and the possibility of suffering a heart attack.
In fact, the work points out that periodontitis may have been the source of numerous deaths throughout history attributed to other causes or of unknown origin.
The researchers stated that this positive effect is due to the fact that dental cleanings reduce the inflammation that causes the growth of bacteria that can give rise to such pathologies.
If you’re diabetic, you can speed up your disease
Periodontitis has been shown to be more prevalent among diabetics and in turn to carry greater risks of accelerating the disease in a retroactive loop.
The origin could be in the higher amount of sugar in the blood, which would lead to a more pronounced bacterial growth. For this reason, these people are especially advised to take extreme care of their oral hygiene.
If you are an athlete, you can suffer more muscle injuries
The same toxic by-products of the bacteria that cause cavities and periodontitis, and that are associated with premature births, arthritis or heart problems, cause an imbalance of the minerals involved in muscle contraction.
So the muscle tires sooner and is exposed under great stress to tears, tendonitis or joint problems. Nowadays, when signing up for elite sportsmen and women, the condition of their mouth parts is very much taken into account.
You have more numbers to end back problems
Oral infections can cause problems in the intervertebral discs because the back does not have good muscle tone and also because of inflammation in the joint areas caused by bacterial toxins.
Another cause of pain that can end up in a spinal problem is poor oral occlusion, which destabilizes the trapezium and sternocleidomastoid muscles.
You can end up with chronic gastritis
In cases where poor oral hygiene results in missing teeth and molars, chewing the food will be less effective and the person will tend to swallow larger pieces of food which must therefore be digested with more work in the stomach.
In the long run, this excess digestive function can cause excessive secretion of gastric juices that end up causing chronic stomach problems.