The Eye-Opening Connection Between Teeth and Vision: Why You Need to Prioritize Both


When you think of dental and vision health, you may not realize these two areas of your health are connected. However, dental and vision health are closely linked because of the proximity of the nerves at the back of the eyes and in the mouth. Maintaining good dental health is essential for your overall health, including your vision.

In this article, we will explore the relationship between teeth and vision, including lesser-known connections and warning signs to look for. We will also discuss why you need to prioritize both dental and vision health and how to maintain them.

Everything you need to know about the connection between your teeth and eyes: 7 key facts to consider

There are several key facts to consider when exploring the connection between your teeth and eyes. Here are some of the most important ones:

  1. The nerves at the back of the eyes and in the mouth are closely connected. This is because the trigeminal nerve, which processes sensations like pain and touch, serves both the eyes and the teeth.
  2. Periodontal disease, a common dental problem, has been linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  3. Toxins released by gum disease bacteria can spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, including the eyes, potentially causing inflammation or other conditions.
  4. Infection or inflammation in the eye or oral cavity can affect vision. Bacteria in the mouth can gain access to the bloodstream and travel to the eyes, leading to infection or inflammation.
  5. Dental procedures can also affect vision, particularly when anesthetic is used. Patients may experience temporary blurred vision after dental surgery or anesthesia.
  6. Mouth breathing can aggravate dry eye syndrome. This occurs when the eyes are unable to maintain healthy levels of moisture. Patients who breathe orally may experience symptoms such as redness, itchiness, and burning sensations, particularly if they are wearing contact lenses.
  7. Orthodontic treatment can result in improved vision for some patients. This is because misaligned teeth or a crowded jaw can lead to strain on the eyes’ muscles, resulting in headaches and other vision problems.

An in-depth look at how changes in tooth health can impact your vision

Dental problems can impact your vision in several ways. Here are some examples:

  1. The pressure caused by swollen or infected gums can compress the trigeminal nerve, resulting in pain or numbness in the face or jaw. This can also lead to altered sensations or vision problems.
  2. The trigeminal nerve also has branches that supply blood vessels to the eyes. Swelling or inflammation in the gums can put pressure on these blood vessels, leading to compromised blood supply to the eyes. This can trigger vision problems such as blurriness, double vision, or even temporary vision loss.
  3. Infections in the mouth can spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, including the eyes. For example, untreated tooth abscesses can lead to orbital cellulitis, a severe infection of the soft tissues around the eye.

From a dentist’s perspective: The oral health issues that can affect your eyes

Gum disease (periodontal disease) and other dental problems can cause a variety of vision problems. Here are some of the most common dental issues that can affect eyesight:

  1. Gum disease can cause inflammation of the eye’s surface (conjunctivitis) and other inner components, leading to swelling, redness, and soreness.
  2. Bleeding gums can cause subconjunctival hemorrhages, which present as red patches of blood in the whites of the eyes.
  3. Untreated tooth abscesses can cause orbital cellulitis, a severe infection of the soft tissues of the eye that can lead to vision loss if left untreated.

Teeth and vision: Exploring the lesser-known connections between two crucial aspects of our health

While most people know dental and vision health are connected to some extent, there are lesser-known connections that you may not be aware of. Here are some connections:

  1. Dental anesthetic can cause temporary visual side effects. This can include blurred or double vision, hallucinations, and even temporary blindness.
  2. A misaligned bite and overcrowding can cause vision problems for some individuals. Strained eye muscles and headaches can be relieved through orthodontic treatment, which can improve both dental alignment and vision.
  3.  Missing teeth can impact peripheral vision. The eye is tuned to a specific horizon, and missing teeth can cause the jaw to become unstable and shift. This can cause your eyes to be off-kilter, causing instabilities in your peripheral vision.

Why orthodontic treatment can make such a big difference for vision health

Orthodontic treatment can make a big difference in vision health for many patients. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Orthodontics can help correct misalignments between the upper and lower jaw, which can also improve the position of the eyes relative to the jaw.
  2. Improving occlusion can relieve the muscles that operate the eyes, reducing the strain on the eyes during visual tasks.
  3. Straightening crowded teeth and opening up a crowded arch can improve facial symmetry and level the horizon, which can improve overall vision and health.

Warning signs to watch for: How to tell if your vision problems are actually linked to your teeth

There are several warning signs that should prompt you to consider a connection between your vision and dental health:

  1. Eye pain, swelling, or redness, particularly if it coincides with gum pain or similar sensations, should be investigated.
  2. Sudden, unexplained visual disturbances, particularly after dental procedures such as anesthetic injection, should be immediately reported to an eye specialist.
  3. Tooth sensitivity or gum tissue bleeding can indicate gum disease, which can increase the risk of systemic inflammation and vision problems.

The surprising ways your dental health can impact your eyes – and what you can do to stay healthy

Maintaining good dental health is important not only for your oral health but also for your vision health. Here are some tips to keep your oral cavity healthy:

  1. Brush your teeth and gums twice a day and floss once daily to remove plaque and debris.
  2. Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
  3. Take action early if you experience any tooth pain or sensitivity. Prompt treatment of dental problems can prevent additional complications such as vision loss.


Good dental health is not just about having a bright smile, but it is also essential for your overall health, including your vision. Dental health problems can impact the eyes significantly, even leading to permanent vision loss in some cases. To maintain good vision health, you need to prioritize your dental health by practicing good oral hygiene and seeking prompt treatment for any dental issues. If you experience any eye-related symptoms or visual disturbances, seek medical attention immediately to prevent serious complications.

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