The detrimental effect of focal infections on general health has been known for decades. Chronic dental infections may worsen the condition of medically compromised patients. Prophylactic antibiotics are therefore routinely prescribed before dental treatment to immunosuppressed and other at-risk patients to combat the spread of oral bacteria into the bloodstream. More recent studies have shown that dental infections may also be a risk factor for atherosclerosis and various other chronic diseases, emphasizing the need for frequent dental checkups among the diseased, in particular. The aim of this review article is to discuss some recent findings on the effect of dental infections on health in general. In many industrialized countries, there is an urgent need to focus on preventive dental care for the diseased and the elderly, whose oral health has been more or less neglected.