A healthy mouth is essential for a healthy body. Maintaining healthy teeth is not only important for a beautiful smile, but for your overall health. In this article, we will discuss 5 facts you know should about your oral health.
1. Flossing Is An Essential Part of Your Oral Health
Did you know that only 13.5% of Americans floss every day (according to American College of Prosthodontics)? Cleaning between your teeth is an integral part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Flossing removes the plaque from areas where your toothbrush does not reach. If plaque is left behind, it will lead to cavities and gum disease. Brushing, for 2 minutes twice a day, and flossing regularly will dramatically reduce the number missing teeth due to active disease.
2. Periodontal Disease Is Linked to Systemic Diseases
According to Harvard Health Publishing, periodontal disease is linked to an increase risked in diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. Furthermore, there has been an association with pregnancy complications and chronic respiratory disease. "It's an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship,'' says Dr. Van Dyke. "But inflammation, which plays a role in all these conditions, seems to be the link”. It has been shown that treating periodontal disease reduces the severity of diabetes and vice versa. It is also one of leading causes of tooth loss in adults.
3. Your Diet Can Affect Your Oral Health
The foods you eat can affect your systemic health, in addition to the health of your teeth and gums. Acidic foods and drinks can cause erosion, which is the dissolution of the hardest part of your teeth, the enamel. It’s best to keep these types of foods to a minimum and eat 3 meals per day as opposed to frequent snacking. If you need to snack, make sure that there is minimal sugar in your foods and that you rinse your mouth with water to ensure that foods do not get stuck to your teeth.
Nutrition is about finding the right balance of foods that work for your body. This is not to say to avoid sweets at all costs, but to minimize the frequency and be conscientious about what you consume and how often you do. Some of the best foods for your teeth are foods high in calcium, protein, fruits and vegetables, and water.
4. Tobacco Is A Risk Factor for Oral Diseases
Tobacco products increase the risk of gum disease, oral cancer, and tooth decay. This is due to the smoke interfering with the normal tissue of the gum, making the tissue more susceptible to infections and impaired wound healing. Not only does smoking cause disease in the mouth, it causes bad breath, yellowed teeth, and dulled sense of taste and smell. If you are considering quitting smoking, let your primary care physician and dentist know. They will have resources readily available for you.
5. Tooth loss can affect the quality of your life
Approximately 1 in 5 adults older than 65 have lost all of their teeth. Tooth loss can affect your ability to chew and therefore negatively impact your nutrition. Furthermore, lack of teeth can affect your physical appearance, speech, and lead to lower confidence and self-esteem. The reduced quality of life can impact your personal, social, and professional life.
For a healthy mouth, you must commit yourself to practicing proper hygiene every day and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups. Remember, your mouth is the gateway to your overall health. Keep it clean!