There is a strong link between poor oral hygiene and a range of physical health conditions. These conditions include some forms of cancer, heart attacks, and kidney failure. There are many reasons for this, with the role of bacterial communities of particular importance. This connection means that looking after our oral health is crucial!

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The connection between oral health and our physical health is very strong. This is a connection that many people are unaware of.
It is crucial to practice good oral hygiene! This can assist with both oral and physical health. Otherwise, poor oral health can contribute towards the onset of many physical health conditions.
Strong oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly, drinking plenty of water, avoiding sugary snacks and soda, and attending dental check-ups regularly.

The role of bacterial communities

One of the biggest concerns with poor oral hygiene is how it can result in the development of abnormal bacterial communities, which can cause many problems [1].
These abnormal bacterial communities have been linked to conditions such as liver failure, heart attacks, and some types of cancers [1].

Harmful bacteria

While many types of bacteria are harmless, a huge number are not. When the harmful bacteria outweigh the normal bacteria, gum inflammation becomes common [1]. Gum inflammation is a sign of gum disease.
Therefore, as the gum disease destroys the gum and erodes the bone, this allows molecules called cytokines to enter the bloodstream [1]. These activate immune cells and can result in low grade chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to Type II Diabetes, thickening of the arteries and obesity [1]. Therefore, as discussed earlier, there are a range of problems caused by harmful bacteria.
As the mouth acts as a door to the gastrointestinal tract, toxins released from the gums – as a result of gum disease – can disturb the gut – which threatens to cause further gastrointestinal illnesses.

Where does bacteria come from?

Trying to avoid bacteria is an impossible task! When a baby is in the womb they are sterile. However, the second they enter the outside world, bacteria will enter the child.
Interactions with the environment, petting animals, putting items in our mouths, our diets and food and drink all play a role in spreading bacteria.
In the mouth alone, there are other 700 species of microorganisms [1]! These are found in and around the teeth, the gums, our tongues, and our saliva.

How can we help the bacteria in our mouth?

We discussed earlier about practical ways of helping our oral health. For example, this includes regular dental check-ups, brushing your teeth regularly, and flossing.
Supporting the balance of bacteria in our mouth is also important. This can be achieved by eating foods rich in antioxidants. For example, this includes fresh fruit and vegetables. Therefore, substituting sugary and high-carbohydrate snacks for fruit and vegetables can be very helpful!
Moreover, high levels of stress and a lack of exercise have also been shown to play a role in disruptions in the bacterial balance of our mouths. Therefore, exercising more and combating stress can also help!
By taking these preventive measures, it can help boost our oral health. Moreover, it can also assist in preventing physical health conditions, such as cancer, heart attacks, and kidney failure – as discussed earlier.
There are clearly many things that we can do. This can help to protect your oral health and lessen potential damage from physical health conditions.

Thinking points…

[1] A consistent theme across this article has been the importance of receiving regular dental check-ups. As this article has shown, it can assist with both our oral and physical health. We recommend attending a dental clinic at least twice per year for a checkup. We recommend booking an appointment now!
[2] Some people have bad habits that result in bacteria getting in their mouth. For example, biting your nails or chewing on a pen lid can result in harmful bacteria entering our mouth. Therefore, try and come up with some ways of stopping these habits – as it will help with your oral health!

What we offer at Taradale Dental

Taradale Dental is a Calgary dental clinic that provide its patients with a wide range of dental treatment options and advice aimed at improving their oral health.
We advise our patients to attend our Calgary dental clinic at least twice per year for a regular dental check-up. At these check-ups, we provide a comprehensive review of a patient’s oral health. If any problems are detected, we have many treatments available. For example, these include cavity fillings and root canals. To strengthen your oral health, we recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly.
Here at Taradale Dental, we also have some cosmetic treatments available! These include dental implants, teeth whitening and Invisalign™! Many people find that these treatments have a positive impact on their appearance, confidence and self-esteem.
Moreover, all of our services at our Calgary dental clinic Taradale Dental are set in line with the Alberta Dental Fee Guide. This ensures transparent and fair pricing.
We hope to see you soon at our Taradale Dental clinic in Calgary! You can find out more about us by visiting our website


[1] Davison, G. M., & Prince, Y. (2023). Brush your teeth! Bad oral hygiene linked to cancer, heart attacks and renal failure. Available: Last accessed: 11th October 2023.