Your oral health is connected to many other health conditions beyond your mouth. Sometimes, the first sign of disease shows up in your mouth. For instance, Sjogren's syndrome, certain cancers, eating disorders, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV can all be diagnosed by your dentist because they may make their presence known in your mouth first, before you may even know anything else is wrong.

In other cases, infections in your mouth, such as gum disease, can cause problems in other parts of your body. When your teeth and gums are healthy, bacteria in your mouth usually does not enter your bloodstream. However, when gum disease is present, bacteria may have a port of entry into your bloodstream.

Many studies have revealed there are links between poor oral health and the following ailments:

  • sleep, behavioural and development problems in children
  • cardiovascular disease
  • respiratory disease
  • diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • premature and low birth weights.

Good oral health is imperative to the protection of your overall health and it is something serious to consider the next time we think we are too busy to brush before heading off to school or work, or too tired to brush before bed.