Family Dental, Springfield, Oregon

Mouth Cleanliness and Your General Health

Mouth Cleanliness and Your General Health

Deficient oral health has been connected to stroke and heart disease among other health issues. You can, however, raise your oral health and lessen your risk of health problems by changing particular habits.

The amount of care you give to your teeth and gums has a strong effect on your general health. Neglected oral health leads to more than just hurting teeth and bad breath, it can introduce all kinds of health issues including oral cancer. Researchers have discovered a possible connection between gum issues and stroke, heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, and even pregnancies issues.

“You cannot be healthy with an unhealthy mouth any more than one can be healthy with an infected foot,” says Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesman for the American Dental Association (ADA).

Lifestyle and Diet have an Effect on Oral Health

Some of the lifestyle and diet habits that affect your oral health are eating sugar, smoking, drinking alcohol, weight changes, and medications.

Eating Sugar

“Having a sugar-laden diet will contribute to tooth decay and gum problems, as the bacteria in the mouth thrive in this environment,” The bacteria produce enzymes and acids that destroy teeth and gums, says Dr. Price.


Dentist have long understood that cigarette and cigar smoking and using other tobacco products will cause oral cancer, periodontal disease (disease of the gum), and tooth decay. Pharyngeal and throat cancer can be caused by cigar smoking. “The smoke from tobacco has a toxic effect on gum tissue, and can interfere with blood flow. Smoking also stains the heck out of teeth, is a direct cause of oral cancer, and can contribute to bad breath.” according to Dr. Price.

Alcohol Drinking

Dr. Price says “Drinking can contribute to oral problems indirectly by resulting in a dehydrated mouth, which can allow bacteria to run rampant,” He also mentioned that people who are addicted to alcohol are less likely to consistently use good dental care habits.

Weight Changes

Changes in a person’s weight who wear dentures can effect how they fit. This is similar to the way clothes fit a person as their weight changes over time. Gum pads, which dentures rest on, can also be effected. Dr. Price recommends that people each a high-fiber diet consisting mainly of fruits, vegetables, beens, grains, and nuts.


Dr. Price says “Some antibiotics, will cause internal staining of teeth, such as tetracycline staining, depending on the age at which you take them. There are up to 400 medications, prescribed or over-the-counter, that have the side effect of drying up saliva. A dry mouth is more prone to gum disease and tooth decay, as well as bad breath.”

Healthy Teeth and Gums Produces a Healthy Body

To keep a good oral health, which will encourage a healthy overall body, is it recommended you visit your dentist on a regular bases to divert any problems early. Good oral hygiene is also important at home on a daily bases. This includes thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth after each meal in order to prevent buildup of plaque. Dr. Price say that a patient and easily undo all the work of a dentist by neglecting to take care of their teeth and gums.


1847 Pioneer Parkway East. Springfield, OR 97477

541-746-7630 (touch to call)

Business Hours

Monday and Tuesday: 9am - 1pm. Wednesday and Thursday: 9am - 6pm.
Friday: 7am - 4pm. Saturday: Closed, Sunday: By appointment only.