Cavities, gum disease, and bad breath—poor oral hygiene can wreak havoc inside your mouth. However, did you know that poor oral health can affect nearly every part of your body? Because the mouth is a primary entryway into the body, the bacteria in it can easily get into the bloodstream and cause infection and inflammation in other parts of the body. So where exactly does the bacteria go? Here is how poor oral health can affect nearly every part of your body.

Cardiovascular disease

Having poor oral health you at risk for heart disease. If your gums are inflamed due to the bacteria that causes periodontal disease, that same bacteria can actually get into the bloodstream causing the arteries to build up plaque and harden. This puts you at risk for a heart attack.

Dementia

Substances that are released from inflamed gums can actually kill brain cells and lead to memory loss. Dementia may result from gingivitis when the bacteria in the mouth spreads to the nerve channels or enters the bloodstream.

Prostate problems

Men with periodontal disease tend to have higher levels of a condition known as prostatitis. This condition can lead to painful irritation, difficult ejaculation, pain in the perineum, and urination urgency.

Respiratory infections

Bacteria in the mouth from diseased gums can be breathed into the lungs. Once there the bacteria can lead to respiratory infections, pneumonia, and acute bronchitis.

Erectile Dysfunction

Having poor oral hygiene puts you at an increased risk for erectile dysfunction. Bacteria from diseased gums can get into the bloodstream and cause blood vessels to become inflamed. This inflammation can block the flow of blood to the genitals, making erections difficult or even impossible.