Health Female Adda
7 months ago
Can cavities kill you? 3 life-threatening illnesses caused by tooth decay

The sad thing about losing your teeth is that you won’t grow another in the place of a lost one, unlike hair strands. That’s why it is important to care for your teeth with everything you have! But people are surprisingly lax about their dental health because it’s widely believed that poor oral hygiene may not kill you. Unless the toothache gets really unbearable, it’s not on their list of priorities to fix an appointment with the dentist. That’s where people go wrong. When it comes to dental health, prevention is definitely cheaper than cure. But not caring enough for your teeth can also cut your life short because research suggests poor oral health increases your risk of overall mortality. Here are some ways in which not caring enough for your teeth can cause life-threatening problems.

1 Diabetes risk

Dental caries or tooth decay is a common chronic condition that affects many diabetic patients. Since oral health care among diabetics is an overlooked concern, most patients do not seek immediate medical attention for dental cavities. But if left untreated, it can lead to pain, infection and eventual tooth loss. Without a proper set of teeth, the diabetic’s quality of life and nutrition gets severely hindered. But that’s not all. Dental expert Dr Nandakumar says, “A diabetic patient who had not formerly taken treatment for tooth decay almost died when the infection from the tooth spread to his jaw bone. Eventually, the infection spread to his neck and blocked his air supply because there was too much pus.”

2 Cardiovascular risk

Studies suggest that the prevalence of heart diseases in patients with periodontitis or gum disease is 25-50 percent higher than those in healthy individuals. Dental caries or tooth decay and periodontitis are said to contribute to an inflammatory state in the body. This constant state of inflammation can accelerate the atherosclerotic process, which causes plaque to settle inside the arteries. This leads to thickening of the arteries and coronary heart diseases.

3 Premature cancer deaths

Not brushing thoroughly could increase your risk of dying prematurely from cancer says a cohort study. All thanks to the harmful bacteria in the oral cavity. A total of 1390 patients were assessed in the study for a period of 24 years, starting in 1985. The researchers found that patients who had a high bacterial load on the surface of their teeth and gum pockets were likely to die of cancer before time. Their risk of dying increased by a whopping 80 percent!


Leite, R. S., Marlow, N. M., & Fernandes, J. K. (2013). Oral Health and Type 2 Diabetes. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 345(4), 271—273.

Jansson, L., Lavstedt, S., & Frithiof, L. (2002). Relationship between oral health and mortality rate. Journal of clinical periodontology, 29(11), 1029-1034.

Kim, J. K., Baker, L. A., Davarian, S., & Crimmins, E. (2013). Oral health problems and mortality. Journal of Dental Sciences, 8(2), 10.1016/j.jds.2012.12.011.

Image source: Shutterstock

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