Dentist Questions Oral Health

I recently read an article that said poor dental health could cause respiratory problems. Is it true?

I recently read an article about the various health problems that could result due to poor oral health. The article mentioned that poor dental health could also cause respiratory problems. Is this true? I only brush my teeth once a day and gargle with mouthwash. Should I change my daily routine to maintain my oral hygiene?

16 Answers


Poor dental health can lead to a number of health problems throughout the body. They usually stem from three areas.
Firstly, the mouth is filled with so many different bacteria that all of them have not even been identified yet. If there is any bleeding in the mouth, these different types of bacteria can get into the blood stream and then go to other places in the body.
Secondly, chronic (long lasting) problems in the mouth usually cause inflammation. When there is a chronic problem in the mouth, this inflammation is there the whole time as well. When the body is fighting off an infection (cavities are infections) the blood vessels get inflamed (swell up) and leak. This gets the immune cells to the area of the infection. If this is going on for a while immune cells will be in the blood stream in the rest of the body.
Finally, some people start to have malnutrition due to dental problems. If someone constantly adjusts what they eat because of dental problem or perceived dental problem then their nutritional intake is going to be different.
Brushing once a day and using mouthwash might be what is needed to maintain your oral hygiene, but it may not work for someone else. Additionally, there are things that brushing and mouthwash cannot get to. It would be best to see a dentist for an evaluation which will also evaluate your oral health and habits. Hope this helps.
The best

My best to you!

William F. Scott IV, DMD
Poor dental health can cause a whole host of systemic problems. It is associated with much greater incidence of cancer, diabetes, stroke and heart attack. Is that important enough to floss daily?
Yes a high bacterial load in the mouth inhaled into the respiratory tract can cause some problems. It is wise to maintain meticulous oral hygiene.
Yes, it can, and yes, you need to improve your oral health.
This article is correct. Although uncommon, respiratory illnesses can be caused if oral hygiene isn’t maintained. Oral bacteria can also get into the blood stream and affect joints, heart, organs, and artificial prosthesis. Brushing and flossing twice a day is highly recommended.
Hard not to be technical with this one but the oral cavity and nasopharynx mouth and nose all communicate via the trachea and the esophagus. The method by which cross-pollination of bacteria to all of these Associated organs including the lungs trach in windpipe, stomach and nasal as well as eustachian tubes of the year all have bacteria that passed through the mouth residually located in those organs. Your job is to stop at at the mouth with proper hygiene. And then let the bodies fabulous immune system and lymphatic system take over for what's left towards proper digestion and nourishment. This is called the aerobic transmission of micro bacteria associated with connecting organs.
Poor oral hygiene often leads to periodontal disease. The bacteria from this disease can easily find their way into your blood stream and cause more than just respiratory problems. It can lead to or worsen heart problems, make it more difficult to maintain glucose control in diabetics, cause neo-natal problems for pregnant women. Not a pretty picture. You should be brushing twice a day and flossing every night. Some people build up plaque more quickly and may need to brush 3 times a day.
Oral health is crucial for the whole body’s health. That’s why it is important to floss and brush every night at least.
Not likely
Absolutely. Poor oral hygiene is the mother of all diseases in our body. Recently, the world of medicine has come to the understanding of almost all diseases in the body, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, etc. (the list goes on and on), are related to bad oral hygiene. So, it is very important, in order to have great health, you should maintain great oral hygiene.
Yes, it is very true that the respiratory problems are caused by poor dental health. This is because the oral bacteria affects your lungs directly when you inhale. Also, the tiny droplets of saliva are also carried to and from the mouth with each breath. You should also know that the advanced periodontal disease and gum diseases start to break down the oral tissues and they eventually let oral bacteria to leak into the bloodstream and this is how the oral diseases reach the lungs.
Yes. That is very true. Not only respiratory issues, but other systemic issues. Poor oral health can be, for example, a complication for a patient with diabetes. I recommend brushing twice a day, floss once a day, and rinse, not just gargle, with an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Be sure to visit with your dental professional as much as needed, at least twice a year. Hope this helps.

Mark Johnson
Absolutely! It’s all related to the bacteria that live in the mouth and in the nasal pharynx. This is complicated by obstructive sleep disorders and poor physical support for the immune system. Last, but not least, is your environment and your genetics based on your ability to handle stress.
Yes, poor oral hygiene and dental disease can affect other areas of the body. You should talk to your dentist about a hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day is generally recommended. Flossing regularly (daily) and mouthwash are also recommended as part of a healthy routine.
Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day is required regimen as well as seeing a dentist once every 6 months to remove tartar from below the gums is important to a person's overall health. Inflammation of the gums is bad for your heart and overall health.
To improve and maintain your gingival health you need to have your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months, brush and floss twice daily, and use prescribed oral rinses with acute periodontal disease to improve overall oral health. Now poor oral hygiene, constant gingival inflammation and periodontal disease is associated with chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and low birth weight.
Recent new studies suggest that periodontal disease may also increase the risk for respiratory infections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. These infections, which are caused when bacteria from the upper throat are inhaled into the lower respiratory tract.
Taking good care of your periodontal health involves daily tooth brushing and flossing. You should also get a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year.