The Connection Between Oral Hygiene, Orthodontics and your Overall Health

Braces Grand Rapids

You probably know that poor oral health can lead to cavities and gingivitis, but are you aware that health issues in other parts of your body can arise as a result of poor oral care?

Many people understand that oral health is important, but the majority of people don’t know that it’s also connected to your overall health.

Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

More than 120 medical conditions show symptoms in the mouth that can be detected by orthodontists in their early stages. Symptoms such as bad breath, bleeding gums, and dry mouth are warning signs of not only oral diseases but also of other health conditions. It’s no wonder that people with periodontal (gum) disease are 40% more likely to have another health condition than those without the disease.

Having bacteria in your mouth is normal and healthy. But if this level of bacteria isn’t maintained with daily brushing and flossing, the buildup could cause inflammation in not just your mouth but in other parts of the body as well.

One great way to reduce the level of harmful bacteria in your mouth is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. With significantly crowded, rotated or crooked teeth it is extremely difficult for people to keep their teeth clean. Whenever teeth are straightened with braces or Invisalign, they become much easier to care for and to keep clean. At Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics, we can help you keep your teeth squeaky clean so you can minimize the risk of overall health issues. 

Recent studies indicate a relationship between the excessive bacteria that cause periodontal disease and other oral issues with that of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and preterm birth.

Cardiovascular Disease

Research has shown that those suffering from gum disease are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those without it. Strokes, clogged arteries, and heart disease have been found to have a possible connection with oral inflammation and infections.


Experts have discovered that diabetics have a higher risk of developing gum disease than those who don’t have diabetes. It’s also been found that gum disease may make it harder to keep diabetes under control. In fact, infection and inflammation in the oral cavity can have a major affect on blood sugar, which isn’t good news for a diabetic.


Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause women to experience various oral health problems. If left untreated, these minor issues can lead to bigger problems such as periodontal disease. There has also been a link found between oral health and preterm birth. Oral conditions like gum disease take a toll on the whole body and can cause a woman to give birth prematurely. If you notice any oral changes during your pregnancy, reach out to your dentist or orthodontist for help.

As you can see, proper oral care isn’t just important in keeping your mouth healthy. There’s no doubt that there’s a connection between oral health, orthodontics and overall health, so make sure you are maintaining proper oral hygiene! If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, contact ourGrand Rapids orthodontists at (616) 455-4800 for help.