How Oral Hygiene Affects Your Overall Health
Taking care of your gums and teeth not only affects your oral hygiene but your long-term health. Not maintaining your oral health can do more harm then just having bad breath. Overlooking oral hygiene can result in various forms of health complications such from gum disease to even oral cancer! Studies have shown connections with neglected oral health to heart disease, strokes and difficult pregnancies.
“You cannot be healthy with an unhealthy mouth any more than one can be healthy with an infected foot,” stated by Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA).
Ways you can remain cautious are as follows:
- Inspecting Medications- “There are 200 to 400 medications, prescribed or over-the-counter, that have the side effect of drying up saliva. A dry mouth is more prone to gum disease and tooth decay, as well as bad breath. Some medications and some antibiotics can cause internal staining of teeth, such as tetracycline staining, depending on the age at which you take them,” says Price.
- Weight Modifications- This is especially essential for those who wear dentures. “Just as weight gain or loss affects the way clothes fit, that gain or loss also affects the gum pads on which dentures rest,” he says. “To help maintain a healthy weight and fight tooth decay, the ADA advises people to eat a diet rich in high-fiber fruits and vegetables.”
- Alcohol Consumption- Those who have a problem with alcohol are less likely to follow proper dental habits. Price states, “Drinking can contribute to oral problems indirectly by resulting in a dehydrated mouth, which can allow bacteria to run rampant.”
- Smoking- Experts have known for a while that smoking can greatly contribute to tooth decay, oral cancer and gum disease. “The smoke from tobacco has a toxic effect on gum tissue, and can interfere with blood flow. Smoking also stains the heck out of teeth, is a direct cause of oral cancer, and can contribute to bad breath” explains Price.
Lastly, in order to remain clear of all potential risks explained earlier, Price instructs all to head on any problems immediately by visiting their dentist regularly. It’s so easy to continuously put off a visit to the dentist but that’s one of the worst things you can do when it comes to ones oral health. In addition to meeting regularly with your dentist, practicing good hygiene on ones own at home is also vital.