The link between poor oral health and eye conditions, particularly glaucoma, is an emerging area of interest in medical research. And just further scientific evidence that every single organ in our body is connected to our mouth, from the brain and the eyes to the gut and the heart.

The teeth & eyes connection

The oral microbiome, when altered due to poor dental hygiene, can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream and lymphatic system, traveling throughout the body, including to the eye. This can disrupt the normal eye microbiome, potentially leading to various eye diseases like dry eye syndrome, keratitis, blepharitis, and conjunctivitis.

Also, glaucoma, particularly primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), has been linked to poor oral health. Research indicates that an altered oral microbiome and the number of missing teeth may be considered risk factors for glaucoma pathology. In glaucoma, the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, is damaged, often due to increased pressure in the eye. This pressure can be influenced by systemic inflammation triggered by oral infections. In some cases, untreated tooth decay, failing dental restorations, and abscesses can contribute to orbital cellulitis, an infection of the tissues around the eye. This condition can be dangerous if infections travel from the oral cavity into the sinus and migrate to the brain via the optic nerve.

The importance of great oral health

These connections emphasise the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, not only for dental health, but also for overall systemic health, including the health of the eyes. It’s no longer about just having nice looking teeth! Your dental work, as well as natural teeth and gums, must be free of inflammation and pathogens. It’s all connected!

Additional reading

For more detailed information, consult the articles:


Written by Dr. Miguel Stanley.

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