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Recent research has shown there is a direct correlation between oral hygiene and a patient’s overall health. Poor dental hygiene and gum disease may directly increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and even diabetic complications. Women that have poor dental health may be more susceptible to pre-term birth and giving birth to low-weight babies. Certain systemic diseases may exhibit oral symptoms as well; these symptoms may include ulcers, mouth sores, swollen gums and even dry mouth.