Are oral health problems life threatening?

Some oral health problems can have life-threatening effects, so it is important to take your oral health seriously. In pregnant women, gum disease has been linked to premature birth, which can be dangerous for the mother and the fetus. When infections spread from the gums to the bloodstream and the rest of the body, serious effects may occur. These can include stroke and other cardiovascular problems. People with diabetes should pay particular attention to their dental health, because gum disease can make diabetes more difficult to control. Uncontrolled diabetes can have life-threatening health consequences.

Absolutely! An avalanche of medical studies have linked oral health to systemic wellness and proper organ function in the heart, brain, lung, pancreas, kidney and uterus. With a high statistical correlation, gum disease and tooth decay have been linked to up to a ten times greater chance of heart attack or stroke, a seven times greater chance of developing adult onset (Type 2) diabetes and premature low weight birth, and a 67% higher incidence of pancreatic cancer in men. In fact, gum disease, a major source of chronic low grade inflammation in the body has been linked to a variety of cancers- many of which are life threatening.
Some oral health problems can be life-threatening. Cancer of the mouth, lips, or tongue are less likely to be fatal the earlier they are detected and treated. Untreated severe gum disease, while not inherently life-threatening, can allow bacteria to travel into your bloodstream, where it can cause possibly fatal infections in organs such as your heart. 
Yes, some oral health problems can lead to life-threatening conditions. For instance, mouth and throat cancer can be life-threatening and can cause serious problems. This is why oral health matters. While everyone loves having a nice smile, it's important to see a dentist regularly so they can examine your mouth, not only for cavities, but for other health conditions as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.