Forgetting to brush and floss your teeth every day does not affect just your smile, but can also cause health problems in the rest of your body. Every year experts are learning just how damaging poor oral health can be on your health. Here are four health problems that you may experience if you don't keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Coronary Artery Disease

If you have gum disease, you are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease. The theory that is being studied is inflammation in your mouth can cause inflammation in your blood vessels. When you have a moderate to severe case of gum disease, your levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP, is increased. CRP is a protein in your body that increases when your entire body has inflammation. And, high CRP levels indicate you are at a higher risk for a heart attack. 

There are many different types of bacteria, but the type of bacteria found in gum disease is the same type of bacteria found in blood vessels that are going through atherosclerosis. This also indicates the two types of inflammation are related.


When you don't brush and floss your teeth every day, plaque sticks to your teeth from the foods you eat. As this plaque remains on your teeth, it hardens and turns into gingivitis. Hard gingivitis rubs at the gum line of your teeth, irritating and inflaming your gums. Any inflammation in your body can make your body less able to control your blood sugar and can cause your body to be insulin resistant. 

In insulin resistant diabetes, or type 2 diabetes, your body produces insulin but the insulin doesn't work to convert sugar into energy for you. So, when your gums are inflamed and infected, this can cause your diabetes to be more uncontrolled. 

If you are diabetic, your body will have a hard time fighting off infections, so inflammation in your mouth is going to take longer to heal than normal. And, when your blood sugar is high and out of control, this creates a perfect environment in your mouth for bacteria to grow and cause more oral infections and cavities.

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Several recent studies have found that adults who have fewer teeth are more likely to have memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.  Dr. Nozomi Okamoto of Nara Medical University in Japan conducted a study with more than 4,200 adults. He determined an infection in your gums can lead to tooth loss and the release of inflammatory substances, which increases brain inflammation, causing neuronal death and hastened memory loss.

A second study at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry found that participants with dementia had an average of 18 teeth while those without dementia had an average of 20 teeth. 

These studies show their results, but there are several theories for the relationship between memory loss and tooth loss. It has been suggested that people who have fewer teeth limit the foods they eat, thereby affecting their health from a deficiency in nutrients they need to keep a strong memory. Another theory suggested losing your natural teeth will reduce the sensory signals your teeth send to your brain, affecting your brain's memory.


Periodontitis occurs when the untreated gingivitis worsens until your teeth begin to fall out. Periodontitis can eventually cause bone loss in your jaw, and some research has found that periodontitis can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition when you have bone loss in the long bones of your arms and legs.

An online report published Dec 31 2012 looked at 17 studies on the relationship between periodontitis and osteoporosis. Eleven of these studies found a positive relationship between periodontitis and osteoporosis. 

Make sure you take care of your oral health so you can avoid these four related health problems. If you have concerns about your dental health, talk with your dentist or visit a dental clinic online at