hygiene

How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health 

For most people, going to the dentist twice a year is not something they keep up on. Many people are scared to go, can’t afford it, or they neglect the dentist all together. However, there is a big misconception that dentists are only looking for cavities when they are in fact looking for clues to get a better picture of your overall health.  

For example, gum disease is linked to many illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Research done at the University Of North Carolina School Of Dentistry found that people with gum disease were twice as likely to die from a heart attack and three times likely to have a stroke than others. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to oral health and the links to other health conditions. Because our mouths are the entry way to the rest of our body, infection is most likely to start there. If you are having ongoing inflammation in your mouth, it is likely that there is also inflammation throughout the rest of your body. In the end, it is important to keep up on your dentist appointments every 6 months.  

Here are 7 things you can do to ensure a healthy mouth: 

  1. Limit soda consumption. The two ingredients in soda that give soda its “bite” are phosphoric acid and citric acid. However, these ingredients will eat away at the surface of your teeth causing cavities later down the road. Our suggestion: drink more water! 

  2. Cut back on sugar. Sugar is a major culprit to tooth decay. After indulging in something sweet, your teeth are hit with up to 20 minutes of acid production causing plague to form and eat away at your enamel and gums. Our suggestion: keep it short and sweet. When eating sugary food and drinks, limit the amount of time it takes you to consume it and follow up with a glass of water. 

  3. Stop smoking. This might be a little obvious but it is a good reminder about the effects that smoking can have on your health, especially gum health. Smoking allows for bacteria to live along the gum line, leading to tooth loss or even oral cancer. Our suggestion: stop smoking all together, even vapes.  

  4. Find the right toothbrush. You should opt for a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Hard bristles can wear away at the enamel on your teeth and cause gum damage. Our suggestion: replace your toothbrush every 2 months with one that has soft bristles.  

  5. Floss daily. To ensure healthy gums, flossing is necessary to get rid of plaque buildup. However, there are right and wrong ways to flossing. Our suggestion: start with 1 foot of floss and wrap it around your index fingers. Keep about 2 inches of floss in between your fingers. Use a fresh section of floss for every tooth, keeping your floss tight to your tooth to get rid of any plague.  

  6. Use the right products. There are so many products out there for oral health but it can be confusing when trying to find the correct ones. Our suggestion: reach out to your dentist to find products to fit your needs.  

  7. Keep up on your dentist appointments. The future of your health could depend on it!