Dental Dilemmas: Brushing Up on Consequences of Poor Oral Hygiene

Statistics show oral health in America is in decline. Nearly half of all adults have gum disease and nearly one-third of adults are suffering from untreated tooth decay.

While you might think of poor oral hygiene as something that only affects your teeth, your dental health affects your entire body. The state of your dental health can cause a variety of medical issues that range from mild conditions like abscesses to more serious conditions that can result in early death.

If you have been slacking on your oral hygiene and are not quite sure of the consequences, here are the problems you can face when you are not taking care of your teeth.

Tooth Decay

One of the consequences of poor dental hygiene is tooth decay. This happens when the bacteria in your mouth sticks to your teeth and slowly starts to eat through the enamel. Tooth decay can lead to gum disease and other serious dental problems.

Gum Disease

If you are not taking care of your oral health, you will likely develop gum disease. Gingivitis and periodontal gum diseases occur when plaque and tartar build-up on your gums and teeth. Gum disease causes bleeding and receding gums that may also be discolored.

Tooth Loss

One of the many side effects of not brushing your teeth regularly is tooth loss. While your dentist may try to save your teeth with root canals and other procedures, many times the tooth decay is too far along to avoid losing teeth. If you are considering a root canal, you can learn more about root canals here.

Respiratory Infection

By not taking care of your teeth, you are increasing your risk of developing a respiratory infection. This happens when the bacteria in your mouth is breathed in to your lungs and enters your bloodstream. You can develop bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia.

Cardiovascular Disease

You’ve probably heard poor oral hygiene can lead to an unhealthy heart, and it’s true. The bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and cause a buildup of plaque in the arteries. This can lead to hypertension, strokes, and other heart conditions.

Kidney Disease 

One of the side effects of gum disease is the development of kidney disease. This happens when the bacteria and infections in your mouth and gums travel into your kidney. Chronic kidney disease affects every part of your body and can be fatal.


A surprising consequence of poor oral health is infertility. Gum disease causes inflammation in the body, which can result in preventing ovulation and the implementation of an embryo. If you can get pregnant, poor dental health can also cause pregnancy complications.

These Are the Consequences of Poor Oral Hygiene

Many health issues result from poor oral hygiene.

You can experience dental health problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. You may also experience respiratory infections, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. One of the surprising side effects of poor dental hygiene is infertility.

To reduce your risks of developing these health conditions, make sure to take care of your teeth.

Don’t forget to browse our site for advice on health, fitness, finance, and more.