Does oral health affect overall health?

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Did you know one-third of older adults report missing work due to dental pain?

(Yikes. Who wants to miss work and add stress on top of dental pain?!)

We’re pretty sure you’re aware of stress and its impact on overall health (which also includes oral health).  

Let’s explore how oral health and overall health are related and how they can support each other.


Our short answer is yes; oral health can affect overall health. And why is that? 

Because oral health is one of the ten leading health indicators, the connection between your mouth, teeth, gums, and your general health is varied and can be somewhat surprising.

Here are a few questions and answers to help better understand the connection between oral health and overall health. 

QUESTION: How does oral health benefit my overall health?

A clean, healthy, structurally proper, and functional mouth increases confidence and sense of well-being in addition to avoiding a wide range of dental health challenges.

QUESTION: Did you know that infections in the mouth don’t have to stay there?

Yep, that annoying sore or infected tooth can cause a whole host of additional health problems such as endocarditis—which is related to the heart. 


The inner lining of the heart chambers and valves can become infected (endocardium) by germs/bacteria from other parts of the body such as your mouth, teeth, and gums (periodontitis).

This means that your mouth and oral health are a critical front line of defense for the rest of your body.

Who would’ve thought that a healthy mouth protects your heart?! 

That isn’t all the connections between oral health and overall health though. 

Here are a few more to take into consideration: 


  • Endocarditis: Infections in your mouth can spread to your heart. 
  • Cardiovascular disease: Research suggests the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause may also cause issues for your heart. 
  • Pregnancy and birth complications: Gum disease (periodontitis) has been linked to premature and low birth weight.  
  • Pneumonia: Oral bacteria can end up in your lungs and lead to pneumonia and other respiratory issues.


  • Social anxiety due to bad breath 
  • Additional stress due to missing work (for unexpected dental visits)
  • Financial stress due to missing work

Now we know this can all sound scary, but these health challenges can—at the very least—be avoidable and in most cases treatable, especially when it comes to your oral care. 

By now you probably realize the dentist has an important role in overall health and how regular dental visits can do more than keep your smile bright.

We believe that your overall health is just as important as your oral health and we’re here to support that journey. 

Cheers to not just oral health, but your overall health as well! 

Ready to schedule a dental visit?

We’re here for the health of you and your mouth! 

Contact Integrity Dental in Pueblo, CO to get started.