Did you know that the state of your oral health can have a significant impact on the rest of your body? The Mayo Clinic notes that oral health can play a substantial part in other illnesses, including but not limited to pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, and endocarditis. We’ve covered several ways you can tell when something’s wrong with your oral health on our blog, but if you keep up with your checkups, you shouldn’t have a problem picking up on these issues. Sometimes, oral health is a signpost to the rest of the body’s health. Here are a few examples of how a dentist can pick up on those clues.

Bad Breath Could Point to Diabetes

Poorly maintained diabetes or the signs of early-onset diabetes might be predictable based on a patient’s breath. Bad breath or halitosis is a problem in its own right. In many cases, halitosis is due to bacteria not being adequately dealt with in the mouth. However, suppose a person isn’t digesting their sugars properly in the case of diabetes. In that case, the increased sugar in the saliva can lead to periodontal diseases, which will also affect the teeth and gums. Occasionally, a patient may also experience thrush (a fungal infection of the mouth) from increased oral cavity sugar content.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Poor oral health has been linked to more incidences of heart disease and stroke amongst adults. Research has led doctors to believe that bacteria from gingivitis or periodontitis may travel through the bloodstream. This can lead to inflammation in the blood vessels of the brain or the heart. This inflammation could cause constriction of blood vessels leading to a stroke if it happens near the brain or a heart attack if it happens near the heart. Neither of these is a desirable outcome for a patient who was only suffering from gingivitis. Getting your oral health sorted out by regular dental visits might help you avoid this outcome.


Also dubbed the “silent disease” because of its lack of overt symptoms, people living with Lupus may also suffer from severe and chronic gum disease. Patients with Lupus also display chronic ulcers on the lips and tongue. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that may attack the salivary glands, leading to further complications. Lack of enough saliva in the mouth can lead to more than just lesions. It could seriously damage a patient’s gums.

Your oral health is crucial to the overall health of your body. With the various potential ailments that could be caused by poor dental health, it is of the utmost importance that people stay on top of potential threats. Taking a risk with your health just isn’t worth it.