The Connection Between Oral Health & Respiratory Infections

woman holds her throat and chest with a respiratory issue

Maintaining good oral health isn’t just about having a beautiful smile. It’s also about encouraging good overall well-being. But did you know that there is a significant connection between oral health and respiratory infections? Keep reading to learn more about this link.

The Link Between Oral Health & Respiratory Infections

It’s not widely known, but poor oral health can contribute to an increased risk of respiratory infections, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Here’s how these two seemingly unrelated aspects of health are connected:

Bacterial Spread

The mouth is home to a diverse community of bacteria. When oral health is compromised, harmful bacteria can flourish, leading to infections like gum disease. These bacteria can enter the respiratory system, potentially causing or exacerbating respiratory infections.


Gum disease and oral infections can trigger inflammation in the oral cavity. This inflammation can extend to the throat and airways, making it easier for pathogens to enter the respiratory system.

Weakened Immune System

Chronic oral infections from a diagnosis like gum disease can weaken the immune system, making the body less capable of fighting off respiratory infections.

Preventing Respiratory Infections Through Good Oral Health

Respiratory and oral health issues can go both ways, as asthma and sleep apnea can affect the oral cavity. However, by maintaining proper oral hygiene, it’s possible to significantly reduce the risk of respiratory infections.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Schedule regular dental visits for professional cleanings and examinations. Our dentist can identify and address oral health issues before they worsen.

Brushing & Flossing

Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth. Proper oral hygiene can prevent gum disease and reduce the risk of bacterial spread.


Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to help reduce harmful bacteria in your mouth. Consult with our dentist for recommendations on the best mouthwash for your needs.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps maintain moisture in your mouth, preventing dry mouth, which can contribute to oral health issues.

Healthy Diet

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins supports good oral health and a strong immune system.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Seattle, WA

The connection between oral health and respiratory infections highlights the importance of taking care of your mouth beyond just aesthetics. By maintaining proper oral hygiene, visiting your dentist regularly, and addressing any oral health issues promptly, you can reduce your risk of respiratory infections and contribute to overall better health!

Contact Us
Reen Chung, DDS

Reen Chung, DDS