Healthy Teeth and Gums Make a Healthy Smile
Do you know that the health of your mouth has a direct connection to the rest of your body and overall health? Oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with gum disease play a significant role in certain diseases located elsewhere in the human body.
Here’s why it’s important to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
When it comes to the well-being of your teeth and gums, it makes sense to follow the preventive measures recommended by family dental care professionals. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, your poor oral hygiene can actually lead to other, sometimes severe, health problems such as:
- Oral and facial pain. There is nothing to match the pain of a severe toothache. Remember Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway?
- Digestion problems. Since digestion begins in the mouth, problems here can lead to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome, and other nasty digestive disorders.
Oral infections can and do affect major organs. For example:
- Cardiovascular disease. Infections in the mouth can result in increased risk for heart disease, clogged arteries, and even strokes.
- Joint Replacement. The bacteria that reside in the oral cavity can enter the blood stream and colonize in these large pieces of bionic hardware.
- Pregnancy and birth. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
- Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, which puts the gums at risk. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels.
What should you do to avoid oral infections that can lead to more serious diseases?
1. Practice good oral hygiene. This means:
- Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if bristles are frayed at the sides/ends.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
- Reduce your sugar intake. Sugar is virtually in-escapable in the Western world today. Sugar Science is a good resource for evidence-based, scientific information about sugar and its impact on health.
- Avoid sports drinks! Some dentists call them “cavities in a bottle”…. The truth is, unless you are an athlete in training, your body contains more than enough fuel to sustain a 90 minute workout, let alone the 45 minutes to an hour most people complete. Water is the best fuel for your muscles, and it doesn’t rot your teeth!
Don’t let poor oral hygiene get you down! Contact my office to schedule a consultation and let’s get started on your individual plan to include good oral hygiene in your healthy lifestyle habits.
Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!
Dr. Nishan Halim
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in adult and pediatric restorative and cosmetic dentistry, as well as preventative dentistry, which is at the heart of this Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. If you have questions about gum disease, contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment. Find out how he can help you maintain your healthy smile.