Is Your Mouth Good For Your Health?

Is Your Mouth Good For Your Health 1280x806 1 300x189

It’s easy to think, ‘I have a couple of bad teeth, I maybe need a filling or two… but it’s only my teeth that suffer’.

But this is definitely not the case.

Apart from probably having stinky breath, did you know that poor dental hygiene can impact your overall health as well?

Dental problems have been linked with a range of health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, dementia, premature birth and low birth weight and stomach ulcers to name a few.

Phew…  Poor dental health can also affect eating, sleeping and emotional health such as self-esteem and confidence.

Some recent research shows that what goes on in your mouth can directly reflect what’s happening in other parts of your body. Conditions such as gum disease can be precursors to yucky stuff like cognitive decline, diabetes, and heart disease.

“Any time you have an infection in your mouth, it doesn’t just stay there,” says periodontist Sally Cram, D.D.S ” It can travel through your bloodstream, affecting your organs and immune system.”

It goes without saying that good dental care is very much a part of  a healthy mouth and overall good health.

The key message for looking after your mouth and avoiding dental problems is:

  • brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste,
  • flossing once a day,
  • eating a healthy balanced diet
  • limiting sugar intake
  • regular preventative dental appointments.

Let’s look in to these a little more…

1) Brushing for two minutes twice a day

It’s recommended that you brush for at least two minutes morning and night.  It’s a long time when you first start to do this, why not set a timer when you brush next and see how long you are actually spending.  For most people, it’s nowhere near the two minutes.  Also check that you are using toothpaste with fluoride, which helps to harden teeth and protect against decay.

2) Flossing…

Flossing… You know you should do it, I know you hate it….   But…  Here’s something you may not know – nearly half the surface area of your teeth lies between them.  Brushing alone means you aren’t cleaning about half your tooth, so flossing should be an essential part of your oral care routine.

We have a dentist joke ‘you don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep’.

3) Eating a healthy balanced diet

Our eating habits play a major role in dental problems.  Water is the best option for hydration.  Avoiding snacking and grazing and limiting your sugar treats to mealtime can reduce your risk of decay.  Watch out for… frequent snacking on food with hidden sugars like biscuits, crackers, cereals, chips and even dried fruit, which can cause tooth decay.

Chewing sugar fee gum after eating can produce more saliva, which neutralises decay causing acid attacks. Alcohol consumption and smoking also increase our risk of dental problems.

4)  Preventive dental appointments

Regular dental check-ups is the best way of ensuring your teeth and gums stay healthy.  These appointments allow for early detection of problems and allow us to advise you on things that may help to improve your dental health.  By visiting a dentist regularly, they can help keep things on track.

Book an appointment or contact us for more info.

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