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The condition of oral health affects the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of a child. Poor oral health goes beyond, causing tooth decay and gum diseases. In fact, it could lead to terminal illnesses. Typically, oral health affects overall health. In this article, we look at some of the effects of bad oral health.

How Bad Oral Health Affects a Child

Tooth decay

Bad oral health can result in tooth decay. This condition results from the accumulation of plaque in the mouth. Excessive plaque tends to wear out the enamel causing a hole, often referred to as tooth decay or cavity. The condition is mostly caused by poor diet and sugary foods. Also, poor oral hygiene practices could lead to tooth decay. Since most children are not aware of their health, they are prone to getting tooth decay. This dental disease causes pain and discomfort and can affect your child’s well-being. Tooth decay is usually accompanied by pain.

Consequently, your child will have a hard time concentrating at school. In turn, their overall performance at school will decline. Besides, your child is likely to miss out on several school days due to dental appointments. Ultimately, ensure your child observes the best oral hygiene practices and eats a healthy diet to avoid tooth decay.

Gum disease

Bad oral health also leads to gum diseases. Most gum diseases have severe symptoms like bleeding and swollen gums. Thus, they give children a hard time when chewing and cleaning their teeth. Even so, this condition can get treated. But you have to seek medical help.

Digestive issues

Once your child has bad oral health, they could encounter difficulties in chewing and swallowing. For instance, if your child has an orthodontic problem or a painful dental problem. They could have a hard time eating. If they do not chew correctly, this will affect their digestive system. As a result, they can experience ingestion and belly discomfort. Other severe symptoms resulting from this include vomiting and gastric issues.

Low self-esteem

If your child has an orthodontic problem, their self-esteem could get affected. Remember, these children are aware that their smile may not be as good. For instance, if your child has an underbite or open bite, they may not be confident enough to smile. This can affect their overall performance at school since they won’t want to associate with other children. So, if your child has an orthodontic problem, seek help from a professional orthodontist. They can rectify this problem by merely prescribing brace treatment.

Issues with speech

Bad oral health can contribute to issues with speech. In particular, some orthodontic problems significantly affect one’s speech. For example, an overbite or underbite can affect how your child pronounces certain words. As a result, your child will tend to withdraw from social groups both at school and home. Undoubtedly, this is likely to affect their academic performance and confidence. It would be best to look for orthodontic treatment from a professional.

How Bad Oral Health Affects a Child

Severe illnesses resulting from bad oral health

Heart disease

When your child has bad oral health, they have high chances of contracting heart disease. If your child has excess bacteria in the mouth, it could pass down to the bloodstream. These same bacteria can travel to the arteries. Consequently, it can form plaque around the arteries and lead to severe heart conditions. In fact, this increases the chance of getting a heart attack. Yes, so, a terminal illness could result from gum disease. Thus, it is vital to ensure your child observes all the proper oral hygiene practices to prevent plaque build-up.


If your child has several untreated oral health problems, they could lead to dementia. In particular, if your child experiences gum disease, see a pediatric dentist immediately. Otherwise, swollen gums tend to release a specific substance that affects the brain. As a matter of fact, this substance can destroy brain cells. In turn, this could lead to memory loss. Even worse, it could lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Respiratory diseases

Bad oral health tends to affect a child’s respiratory health. As seen earlier, if there is an excessive build-up of bacteria in the mouth, it travels to other parts of the body. At times, bacteria can travel to the lungs and cause a build-up of plaque. As a result, your lungs get hardened, and you can quickly get respiratory infections.

The bottom line

Maintaining good oral health goes a long way in preventing further health complications in your child. So, it is essential to adhere to all back to school dental check-ups. In fact, take your child for a dental evaluation at least twice a year. Oral health affects your child’s overall health. So, if you want to boost your child’s emotional, physical, and mental health, ensure that their oral health is in check. Otherwise, bad oral health could lead to low self-esteem and poor performance at school. Even worse, bad oral health is one of the main contributors to terminal illnesses like heart diseases and dementia. Moreover, ensure, you observe all the proper oral hygiene practices to boost your oral health.

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