CALL 303-984-0307 to book an appointment.
Tooth aches. Bleeding gums. Bad breath. These are all signs of poor oral health, which can be dangerous to your overall health. But can bad teeth kill you? While you won’t die from the pain caused by an abscessed tooth or infected gums, poor oral health can lead to many deadly diseases.

Not convinced? Let us prove it to you. Just think of your mouth as the gateway to your body. If you have cavities, decaying teeth or infected gums, bacteria will eventually form inside of your mouth. The longer this bacteria sits untreated, the greater the chance it’s going to enter your bloodstream. From there, it can wreak havoc on any of your organs. While we don’t want to be bearers of doom and gloom, we do want to show you that whole body health is directly related to oral health.

Heart Disease

Take it to heart: A healthy cardiovascular system depends on good oral health. The research over the years doesn’t lie. If you have dental disease, you have an increased risk of having a heart attack. In 2018, a study found that patients with bleeding gums (caused by poor brushing and flossing practices) had an increased risk of heart disease. One of the most “popular” places bacteria likes to stick to is your platelets. Once this happens, blood clots can form and interrupt your blood’s flow to your heart. You can guess what happens next: A heart attack. Of course, a heart attack doesn’t always occur. But what starts out as a simple gum infection can turn into a serious heart condition if left untreated.

It’s really no wonder that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults has untreated cavities. Even more concerning: Almost 50% of all adults aged 30 or older (65 million people) have signs of gum disease. The CDC has been working to improve the oral health of Americans and what they refer to as “a silent epidemic of cavities” and gum disease that may be connected to damage in other areas of the body.

can bad teeth kill you


Alzheimer’s Disease

If you don’t think your brain is affected by oral health… think again! Sure, you’ve heard that not brushing and flossing your teeth can lead to cavities and tooth decay. But did you know that poor dental hygiene can even lead to Alzheimer’s disease? An infection in your gums can kill off brain cells, leading to memory loss and dementia. In fact, a recent study showed a link between bacteria that cause gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. And in a similar 2010 study, participants with gum inflammation were nine times more likely to score lower on cognitive tests.



Controlling (and preventing) diabetes depends on good dental hygiene. If you’re a diabetic, then you know that the disease makes you more susceptible to infected gums. But did you know that ignoring an infection can cause drastic spikes in blood sugar levels, making your diabetes even more difficult to control? Even if you don’t have diabetes… If you have bad oral health, you’re at an increased risk of developing it.


Let's Be Social!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for whole body health and nutrition tips!


Over the last few years, you may have seen headlines in the news like these:

Men with a history of gum disease have a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Poor oral health linked to a 75% increase in liver cancer risk.

Poor oral hygiene tied to cancer-linked virus HPV.

For years, we’ve heard about how smoking or using tobacco products can lead to cancer. But now we’re hearing about other types of cancer being blamed on untreated cavities and gum disease. Researchers from Finland recently found that an enzyme called Treponema denticola chymotrypsin-like proteinase (Td-CTLP) is common in many cancerous tumors. The link to oral health? This enzyme is usually found in the mouth and is the “boosting” agent in the development of gum disease. It’s also the agent that activates other enzymes that cancer cells use to encroach on healthy cells. The research is ongoing.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Centuries ago, Hippocrates (known as the father of modern western medicine) recommended pulling teeth in order to cure arthritis. We are still investigating this connection today! According to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, people with gum disease are four times more likely to have RA. A 2012 study showed that 65% of RA patients had gum disease compared to 28% of patients without RA. The common link between both diseases is inflammation. The oral bacteria caused by gingivitis can increase inflammation throughout the body.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

While there’s no guarantee that you can avoid disease, you can certainly take measures to minimize your risks. For good oral health, we recommend brushing your teeth at least two times a day for two minutes each time. You should also floss your teeth daily and use mouthwash. And last, but not least, visit your dentist for a checkup twice a year.

If you’re in the Denver area, Dr. David Chavez would love to meet with you. Call 303-984-0307 or schedule an appointment here.

Have questions or comments? Leave them below!