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The Effect of an Unhealthy Lifestyle on Oral Health

September 3, 2021

The Effect of an Unhealthy Lifestyle on Oral Health

The healthy functioning of our body depends a lot on how we treat it. If we do not exercise and keep ourselves active, have unhealthy eating habits or smoke tobacco, we’re more prone to systemic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

Our world is becoming more and more fast paced, with greater emphasis given on making it out there in the ultra competitive space. This has resulted in high levels of stress, improper sleep, irregular eating habits and erratic exercise routines. But, remember that the mouth is the first point of entry for anything unhealthy that you introduce in your body.

Junk food has to go through the mouth, smoking is done via the mouth. So, it is only natural that the oral cavity will be the first thing that will be affected by an unhealthy lifestyle.

Let us have an in-depth look at how an unhealthy lifestyle can affect your oral health.

Having too much junk food

Junk food consists of foods that contain an abnormally high level of carbohydrates and fats. This includes fast foods like pizza, burgers, carbonated drinks and sodas, deep fried foods, candy, chocolate, ice cream, cakes and pastries etc.

The high amount of sugars in these foods have an adverse effect on your teeth, and can lead to tooth decay. Besides poor oral health, junk food can of course, also lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc.

Smoking or Chewing Tobacco

Any form of tobacco consumption like smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, keeping it under your tongue or near your cheeks, smoking cigars or similar, is hazardous to life. Tobacco remains the number one cause of oral cancers like tongue cancer or lip cancer. Additionally, it can cause other oral problems like staining of teeth, bad breath and gum disease. This is all over and above the other obvious effects of smoking, like lung or throat cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and chronic bronchitis.


Stress is as much a part of an unhealthy lifestyle as the above habits. Over the last few years the amount of stress in people has increased owing to an overemphasis on one’s career, at the expense of one’s own mental and physical well-being. Stress can cause a person to get habituated to harmful lifestyle behaviours like smoking and drinking, which in turn cause poor oral health. It can also make people ignore their oral health, wherein they skip brushing their teeth or ignore dental cleaning appointments.

Poor Brushing Habits

Brushing twice a day cleans up food remnants and decay causing bacteria from the teeth. If you fail to brush, the chances of tooth decay and gum diseases increase by a lot. Thus, poor brushing habits also have an adverse effect on your oral health.


Oral health is one of the most ignored aspects of the body. Many know the effects of unhealthy habits on the body like obesity and heart disease, but do not have enough awareness about the same when it comes to oral health. So, it is of paramount importance to educate the general public about the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle on oral health.

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