Can proper oral hygiene prevent more serious health issues?

Yes. Poor oral hygiene can lead to caries, halitosis, abscess, and heart disease. In addition your mouth is the gateway to your body and some medications can decrease saliva production, thereby decreasing the mouth's normal protective barrier inviting bacteria to enter your body.
Many conditions, such as HIV, diabetes, and pregnancy, can affect your oral health. Similarly, your oral health can directly affect the rest of your body. Bacterial infections that start in your mouth can often travel through your bloodstream to other parts of your body. What started out as gum disease could turn into something much more serious. The good news is that serious oral health problems can usually be prevented. You simply need to practice good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day as well. If you want a healthy body, you have to start with a healthy mouth.

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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.