Take Charge of Your Health - Oral Hygiene
No my friend, I am not drunk.
It is that I have been to the dentist and I need not go again for six months.
It is a beautiful thought.
Most of us know the importance of dental hygiene to prevent cavities, gum disease and other oral health challenges but in recent years, medical research has expanded to uncover connections between your “mouth health” and your “body health” and relationships between your teeth and chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Tooth decay and gum disease is often caused by plaque -- bacteria and toxins which build up and cause the gums to be tender, swollen and infected. Over time, the inflammation and the chemicals it releases can eat away at the gums and bones that hold the teeth in place.
Not only can this cause serious gum disease (periodontitis) and tooth loss but it can affect other areas of your health. For instance, severe gum disease can weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Research also suggests people with gum disease may be at a higher risk of heart disease as bacteria has the potential to spread from your mouth to the heart through the bloodstream. This can cause inflammation, and in turn, increase the chance of cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Infections, which start in your mouth, may also be linked to premature birth, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis and even Alzheimer’s Disease. According to the American Dental Association, research has revealed that people with serious gum disease may be “40% more likely to have a chronic condition on top of it.”
That’s why beyond brushing and flossing, a very important component to oral hygiene is regular visits to your dentist. We should all go every six months. It is easy to procrastinate, but a visit to the dentist may help you discover important health issues -- vitamin deficiencies, acid reflux, tooth grinding, gum disease and oral cancers in their early stage.
Want to keep smiling? Follow these Tips for Good Oral Hygiene:
- Rinse your mouth after meals and brush at least twice a day
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 months
- Floss everyday to remove plaque
- Ensure your drinking water is fluorinated or use a fluoride toothpaste and/or mouth rinse
- Keep your dentures, retainers and other mouth pieces clean
- Don’t use tobacco products
- Visit your dentist and have your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months.
It's an important step in Taking Charge of Our Health.
For further information and resources visit the Health-E3 website.