4 Harsh Realities of Poor Oral Health

Think your oral hygiene habits – or lack of – have no effect on your overall health?

Think again!

Neglect your teeth for much of your life and, in addition to tooth and gum decay and losing your teeth, you can end up having a heart attack when older.

Let me explain. Here are four harsh realities of not taking proper care of your teeth.


  1. Are you diabetic? Poor oral health habits can lead to inflammation of your gum tissue. In addition, periodontal disease (caused by not caring for your teeth) also can make it more difficult for you to control your body’s blood sugar levels, making your diabetes symptoms worse. If you have diabetes, taking care of your teeth in order to avoid periodontitis is even more important.
  2. Want pneumonia? The Journal of Periodontology has reported that gum disease (periodontal disease) could lead to lung infections, including pneumonia. Think about it: if your teeth and gums are infected with bacteria because you’re not taking care of them and you breathe in that bacteria over a period of time, don’t you think that that infected bacteria will travel to your lungs?
  3. Let gingivitis run rampant in your mouth because you refuse to practice proper oral hygiene and the gingivitis bacteria could enter your brain via your bloodstream or through nerve channels in your head, possibly causing dementia.
  4. Perhaps the worst reality of poor oral health was mentioned above: practice bad oral hygiene most of your life and you truly could have a heart attack. Why? Because studies show that people with advanced or even moderate gum disease are more likely to have heart disease than those people whose gums are healthy.

So, I ask you: are diabetes, lung infections, dementia, and/or having a heart attack (and possibly dying because of that heart attack) worth it if you choose not to brush your teeth for a few minutes twice a day, floss once a day and visit your Plano dentist twice a year?

I sincerely hope you don’t think so and hope that – especially if you haven’t visited a dentist in a while – you will contact me (Dr. Darren Dickson) at to make an appointment..

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

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