The Cornerstone of Overall Health: Maintaining Good Oral Health

Posted by Sailee Rangnekar on Sun, Mar 17, 2024  
No of Views(856)

In the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, we usually focus on mental, physical, and nutritional health. Oral health, on the other hand, is often neglected, but it plays an important role in many aspects of our overall well-being. The health of our teeth, gums, and the entire oral-facial system that enables us to chew, communicate, and smile is known as oral health.

Poor oral hygiene may cause various health conditions, such as gum diseases, diabetes, respiratory infections, pregnancy complications, and cardiac diseases. The most common types of conditions caused by poor oral hygiene are cavities or tooth decay, gum diseases, and oral cancer.

As per a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, approximately 3.5 billion people worldwide suffer from various oral health problems. Over 514 million children experience primary tooth decay, while about 2 billion adults are affected by permanent tooth decay globally.

Maintaining good oral health is more than having a beautiful smile; it can have a huge effect on our overall health. 

Oral health and health conditions:

The mouth and its health have a direct impact on the body since it acts as a conduit to the rest of the body. Recent research published in the Delaware Journal of Public Health emphasises the relationship between the mouth and overall health. As per the research, in many cases, oral health is the primary indicator of systemic illness.2 Several studies have also demonstrated a strong link between poor oral health and systemic conditions. 

  • Pregnancy Complications-

A study published in the Journal of the Turkish-German Gynaecological Association shows that poor oral health during pregnancy may cause pregnancy granuloma, tumours, low birth weight babies, tooth decay, gingivitis, and other serious conditions.3

  • Cardiac conditions-

Chronic inflammation from gum diseases may cause severe cardiac conditions such as atherosclerosis, and stroke and increase the risk of cardiac arrest. According to research, published in the American Journal of Preventive Cardiology, poor oral health increases the risk of atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries). 4

  • Respiratory Infections-  

Poor oral health increases the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth and throat, which can lead to respiratory infections. As per an American Thoracic Society report, serious respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) can be exacerbated by gum diseases. 5 

Key components for good oral health:

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential because of the significant impact that oral health has on overall well-being. 

Here are some key components for good oral hygiene:  

  • Brushing and flossing-

 Brushing and flossing regularly assist in eliminating plaque and harmful microorganisms that can cause dental conditions such as tooth decay and gum diseases.

  • Healthy Diet- 

 A nutritious diet plays a significant role in maintaining proper oral health. Foods that are acidic and sugary and beverages that are high in sugar increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Including protein - and calcium-rich food products in the daily diet, such as green leafy vegetables, cheese, yoghurt, and dairy products, and fruits such as apples, and pears, promotes both oral and overall health.

  • Regular dental check-ups -

 Regular dental check-ups are important for preventive care and the early detection of dental problems.

  • Stay Hydrated- 

Consuming an adequate amount of water flushes out food debris and harmful bacteria, lowering the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases.

When it comes to overall well-being, oral health is a vital link that connects all the other aspects. Proper oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups improve the overall quality of life. A smile is not just a cosmetic asset; it reflects our commitment to overall health.


Reference and links:

1. World Health Organisation, Oral health, (2023)

2. Kulkarni Rupali. (2023). The mouth is the mirror of the body:   Oral-systemic health. Delaware Journal of Public Health, vol 9 (1). doi: 10.32481/djph.2023.04.011

3. Yenen Zeynep, Atacag Tijen. (2019). Oral care in pregnancy. Journal of Turkish-German Gynaecological Association, vol 20 (4), pp.264-268. doi: 10.4274/jtgga.galenos.2018.2018.0139 

4. Gianos Eugenia, Jackson. A. Elizabeth, Tejpal Astha, Aspry  Karen, et al. American Journal of Preventive Cardiology.( 2021). Oral health and atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases: A review. vol 7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpc.2021.100179 

5. American Thoracic Society. (2019) Dental health and lung disease. American Journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. Vol 199, pp 9-10.[ ]


Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.

Popular Contributors

Lachmi Deb Roy subnirmala HannahSP Krishna Bora Dr.Trupti Antony76 Lakshmi Gopal ThelmaSimon aruna75