The link between Oral Health and Your General Health

  • Your mouth is home to approximately two billion bacteria comprising of 700 different types, bacteria grow well here as it is warm, moist and highly nutritious.  
  • Your teeth are the ideal place for plaque formation (a bit like the algae growing on your patio), not only does plaque grow on the teeth but  it also grows on anything hard in the mouth e.g. dentures, fillings, crowns and implants. If not cleaned off effectively the plaque matures with more and more bacteria and their toxins to a cause inflammation in the gums which become red and bleed easily especially when brushing.
  • Research in the U.S has shown that even though 50% of the American population suffers from bleeding gums only 3% seek professional advice and treatment.
  • As the gum inflammation increases bone loss around the teeth begins (and is now called Periodontal Disease) in those who are genetically susceptible to having a high inflammatory response.
  •  It is not until there is an abscess or the teeth feel loose that people notice what Is happening and seek treatment but usually by then there is irreversible damage that has happened.

This is why it is so important to have your teeth regularly and professionally cleaned so this can be picked up by the Dentist or Hygienist.  The personalized cleaning routine that is created for you individually by your Hygienist will give you the ammunition to stop plaque build-up.  

* The use of interdental cleaning aids is vital as 30% of the plaque on your teeth is found between them! *

 It is natural for us to have bacteria in the mouth they stop things like Thrush growing in our mouths, but we want “Friendly “bacteria which are not pathogenic (disease forming).  

The way to do this is not just by cleaning but also by our diet which will be the only way we can influence the bacteria that grow in our mouths.

 Your Hygienist will also give dietary advice on how to stop dental decay and also dietary advice to help prevent inflammation. For example, one group of bacteria called Streptococcus mutans is highly linked to increased dental decay, these bacteria thrive in an environment in which there is a high sugar intake, and without this, these bacteria will not flourish in the mouth.

Growing research is showing that not only does oral health prevents oral issues like dental decay, gum disease and halitosis but also has positive effects on your general health.

When there is gum disease there is a chronic low grade inflammation in the gums. Pathogenic bacteria invade the body through these “leaky” inflamed gums as well as the chemical products of inflammation. These go into the blood stream and can cause problems in other parts of the body. 

People with gum disease are:


  • 3 times more likely to suffer from Type 2 Diabetes


  •  3 times more likely to be obese,
  • Have a 20% increased risk of hypertension,
  • Have  a 25% increase risk of cardiovascular disease
  •  70% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.



  • Studies are showing a link between gum disease and autoimmune disease. For example antibodies against oral bacteria have been found in the joints of people with Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Gum disease has been linked to preterm births and low birth weight
  • ID-19 Complications.  More patients who have gum disease have been found to need intensive care.


  • Brush your teeth for 2 minutes with a good electric toothbrush which has a timer twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste ( at night spit don’t rinse.)
  • Clean your teeth once a day with an interdental aid, e.g. floss or brushes.
  • Use a tongue scraper in the morning to remove dead cells, bacteria and prevent halitosis.
  • Eat a balanced diet high in vegetables and fruit which is high in anti-oxidants and also anti-inflammatory.
  • Limit sugar intake especially between meals, no refined sugars as found in sweets, cakes and biscuits, choose instead unrefined sugars such as root vegetables (high in starch) also wholegrains e.g. multigrain bread and wholemeal rice and pasta.
  • Keep hydrated.

The latest most cutting edge intervention in helping to prevent oral disease is to know your risk by having a DNA test.  This comprises of having a cheek swab which is sent off to a laboratory where your DNA is tested. 

 This test is called Abundant Beautiful Smile and will show how susceptible you are to inflammation (and therefore periodontal disease) how well your immune system works (your first defence against pathogenic bacteria) and if you have a sweet tooth (higher risk for dental decay) These results can then be used to give a personalized and targeted lifestyle and nutrition plan to reduce your risk.

To know more about this visit 

A leaflet is also available from the clinic.

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