Oral Health & Your Body

The Importance of Better Oral Health to Your Total Health

The mouth can offer clues about overall health, and problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body.

Researchers have found that gum disease is linked with other health problems. Gum disease ranges from a mild type known as gingivitis to the more serious type called periodontitis.

Related Oral Health Articles

To help you learn more about the importance of good oral health to your total health, we have collected professional articles and information related to a variety of conditions:

To prevent and treat gum disease, learn how to keep your mouth healthy.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common manifestation of elderly dementia. People with poor oral hygiene or gum disease may be at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

>> Poor Dental Health May Lead to Alzheimer’s
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease; July 2013

>> Oral Health of the Elderly with Alzheimer's Disease
Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology; Volume 114, Issue 3, Pages 338-343, September 2012

>> Healthy Mouth, Healthy Mind
Waterpik Oral Health Blog

Diabetes >> See articles

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lower the body’s resistance to infection. Periodontitis is an infection in your gums, which can result in higher blood sugar levels and more challenges with controlling the disease.

>> Diabetes and Periodontal Disease
American Academy of Periodontology

>> Diabetes and Oral Health
NIDCR (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)

>> Fight Gum Disease to Help Manage Diabetes
Waterpik Oral Health Blog

>> Diabetes Dental Challenges
Waterpik Diabetes Article

Heart Disease and Stroke >> See articles

Studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While gum disease and heart disease share common risk factors such as smoking and diabetes, in many studies the association appears to exist independent of these factors.

>> Gum Disease and Heart Disease
American Academy of Periodontology

>> Periodontal Disease in Patients with Chronic Coronary Heart Disease
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology

>> A Surprising Men's Health Crisis
Waterpik Oral Health Blog

Pregnancy and Birth >> See articles

Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause pregnancy gingivitis and periodontitis. Several research studies suggest that women with periodontal disease may be more likely to deliver babies prematurely or with low-birth weight than mothers with healthy gums.

>> Expectant Mothers’ Periodontal Health Vital to Health of Her Baby
American Academy of Periodontology

>> Oral Health Care During Pregnancy and Through the Lifespan
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; August 2013

>> Watch Out for Pregnancy Gingivitis
Waterpik Oral Health Blog

>> Pregnancy Dental Challenges
Waterpik Pregnancy Article

Gum Disease and Your Health >> See articles

Researchers have found that gum disease is directly linked with other health problems. The mouth can offer clues about overall health, and problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body. These range anywhere from bad breath to heart disease.

Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Healthy teeth and gums

Gum disease is preventable and treatable. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily are important to avoid gum disease and the risks it places on overall health.

Adding a Waterpik® Water Flosser to your daily routine is one of the most effective ways to improve your oral health. In fact, clinical studies show that the Water Flosser in conjunction with toothbrushing is more effective than dental floss at reducing bleeding gums and removing plaque.

If you see signs of gingivitis or gum disease, call your dentist and make an appointment for an exam. Your dentist and dental hygienist will determine the best treatment for you.

Last updated: July 2016
Emerging research shows that there is an association between periodontitis and certain systemic diseases and conditions. This association does not imply that a cause and effect relationship has been established.