A healthy mouth is more than just a pretty smile.
Good oral hygiene and oral health can improve your overall health. It reduces the risk of serious disease and maybe even preserves memory in later life.
The phrase, “healthy mouth, healthy you,” really is true and is backed by growing scientific evidence, according to Brunilda Nazario, MD, in a WebMD article.
Following are five ways that having healthy teeth and gums boosts overall health:
• Boost confidence and self esteem. Decayed teeth and gum disease are often associated with an unsightly mouth and bad breath which can be so bad as to affect your confidence, self-image, and self-esteem. With a healthy mouth free of gum disease and cavities, your quality of life also improves making it easier to eat properly, sleep better and concentrate without aching teeth or mouth infections to distract you.
• May lower risk of heart disease. Chronic inflammation from gum disease has been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels and strokes.
• Helps with memory. Adults with gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums) performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive skills than did those with healthier gums and mouths, according to a report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. Those with gingivitis were more likely to perform poorly on two tests: delayed verbal recall and subtraction, and
• Helps keep blood sugar stable for those with diabetes. People with uncontrolled diabetes often have gum disease. Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease. In addition it’s been found that if you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop more severe gum problems than someone without diabetes.
Here are some tips on how to keep teeth and gums healthy:
Continuing good mouth and tooth care as an adult can help you avoid tooth loss, painful gums or other problems. Here are some helpful things you can d
1) Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
2) Floss your teeth at least once a day.
3) Don't smoke or chew tobacco.
4) Ask your doctor if your medicines have side effects that might damage your teeth. (For example, some medicines may cause you to have a dry mouth.)
5) Look inside your mouth regularly for sores that don't heal, irritated gums or other changes.
6) See your dentist regularly, and
7) If you have any problems with your teeth or concerns about your mouth, see your doctor or dentist right away.
Your mouth is normally teeming with bacteria. Usually you can keep these bacteria under control with good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing. Saliva also is a key defense against bacteria and viruses. It contains enzymes that destroy bacteria in different ways. But harmful bacteria can sometimes grow out of control and lead to periodontitis, a serious gum infection.
When your gums are healthy, bacteria in your mouth usually don't enter your bloodstream. However, gum disease may provide bacteria a port of entry into your bloodstream. Sometimes invasive dental treatments also can allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. And medications or treatments that reduce saliva flow or disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in your mouth also may lead to oral changes, making it easier for bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Some researchers believe that these bacteria and inflammation from your mouth are linked to other health problems in the rest of your body.
Barb Kampbell of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.