health conditions affecting oral health

Health Conditions Affecting Your Oral Health

We’ve mentioned before that our teeth and oral health are an insight into our overall health. Our dentist can tell a lot about our health by examining our teeth and mouth. It’s hard to grasp how our mouth can reveal much about our medical conditions because we often don’t associate the two affect one another (or at least I don’t).

There are medical conditions that affect our body in more than one way, and if we don’t take measures to care for our oral health, we can start seeing dental problems arising. A few common conditions which can alter the health of our mouth are

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are severe that could lead to other medical conditions. For example, anorexia is an eating disorder where there is a fear of weight gain, and where normal body weight can’t be maintained. Often leading to semi-starvation, it can deprive the body of nutrients it needs to store and develop, and as a result, develop osteoporosis can develop which can weaken the structure of your jaw, leading to tooth loss.

Bulimia is another eating disorder where there is a cycle of binge eating and then purging it over the week. There are many ways of purging such as vomiting, and a constant cycle of vomiting can lead to your stomach acid eroding your teeth’s enamel, tooth sensitivity, and in a more severe case tooth loss.

Acid Reflux

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition where your stomach acid moves up the esophagus and can often reach the back of the mouth. Constant stomach acid in the mouth can begin to erode your tooth’s enamel including the dentin, one of the inner layers of the tooth. It can be damaging not only to your esophagus but your oral health.


There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, meaning there are high levels of glucose in your blood. Depending on how under control you have your blood sugar levels, it can affect your oral health along with other areas of your body. When your diabetes is not controlled, you are likely to experience dry mouth, gum inflammation, periodontal disease, and even slow healing process in the mouth. Uncontrolled diabetes can hinder your ability to fight off infection and when there is infection your blood sugar levels increase.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Having rheumatoid arthritis has been known to put your oral health at risk of gum disease. Severe inflammation is a constant when you have arthritis regardless if there is a bacteria or virus in your body. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause dental problems such as gingivitis (early stage of gum disease), periodontitis, Sjogren syndrome, oral infection, and even the loss of motion on the temporomandibular joint due to severe pain.   


Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones become fragile due to the loss of bone and structure. They become less dense and weaken making them prone to break. Osteoporosis can affect your jaw causing it either break down bone, and connective tissue supporting your teeth, or increase the chances of tooth loss due to the reduction of support the bone gives to the tooth which makes it looser.

Our oral health can often give us and your dentist hints that there is an underlying issue with our overall health. Even if we have some medical condition, as above, we want to ensure we are taking measures to provide the care our teeth need. Preventative care is a critical part of preventing further dental complications and problems from arising.

If you haven’t seen your dentist or are due for your annual check-up, make an appointment now. Call us at 801-747-8000 to book your appointment now.


For more information on other medical conditions affection our oral health, check out Cologate’s page on Oral Health & Medical Conditions.


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