Neglecting Your Mouth can Cost Your Health
Today's guest post is from Dr. Toni, a family dentist in Florida (bio below). This is a perfect post to read especially because Halloween just past! Sugar wreaks havoc on our whole body, and our mouth is no exception!
I'd like to preface by saying that there is a lot of research showing how a healthy lifestyle contributes to the health of our mouth. I like books like this one and this one that explain that it's possible to prevent and even heal cavities and other dental issues using healthy lifestyle techniques.
Let's get into this post from Dr. Toni to understand more about how our dental health can affect our overall health...
Many times you hear people talking about these diets and exercises to keep them healthy, but there is one thing you may hear people fail to mention to stay healthy.
That is your mouth.
Did you know that maintaining healthy teeth and gums can help you live longer and avoid a heart attack? Yes, it's true.
Gum disease has become prevalent among adults and now it is expected that half of American adults have gum disease. You may be thinking, "what is the big deal ... it's just your teeth." Keep reading and I'm going to show you how it is linked to other diseases throughout your body.
Periodontal disease or gum disease is an inflammatory disease that starts off as inflamed gums due to plaque and bacteria called gingivitis. The inflammation process continues as more plaque and tartar buildup gets underneath your gums and the bacteria further irritates the gums and bone and develops into full-blown gum disease. Gum disease leads to the destruction of the jawbone that supports your teeth. If gum disease is left untreated, it will destroy the jawbone and ultimately cause you to lose your teeth.
Some of the signs of gum disease include:
· Red, puffy gums
· Bleeding gums
· Tender gums
· Bad breath
· Loose teeth
· Receding gums
You may ask, so what's the big deal with gum disease?
Links between gum disease and other diseases
Gum disease ultimately can cause you to lose teeth. But the biggest problem with gum disease is the link that has with other diseases in your body.
Gum disease has been linked to the following diseases and conditions:
· Heart disease
· Respiratory disease
· Low birth weight (in pregnant mothers)
The link between heart disease and gum disease is significant. The same bacteria that cause the inflammatory process in gum disease has been found in the plaques that cause heart attacks.
What should I do?
Go see your dentist for a checkup. Yes, I know. No one likes the dentist and no one wants to go to the dentist. But just like you go in for an annual checkup with your physician or optometrist, you should have a checkup with your dentist.
Your dentist will need to take X-rays and check your gums to let you know if you actually have gum disease. If you have gum disease, your dentist will prescribe you treatment to arrest the gum disease.
Just like diabetes, gum disease is controlled. And similar to diabetes, gum disease is controlled by treatment by your dentist and by you with good home care with brushing and flossing daily.
I want you to be healthy and happy. I also want you to live a long life. Neglecting your mouth while having an amazing diet and workout plan can prevent you from having a long, happy and healthy life.
Brushing and flossing
Make sure that you are caring for your teeth and gums by seeing your dentist regularly and brushing daily and using a toothpaste with the ADA seal of Acceptance. If you are more into natural products, Toms carries natural toothpaste (as well as other products) that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
I know that you may have heard the controversy about flossing, but I will tell you that you should still floss. I can assure you that your gums will thank you.
Gum disease is controllable, but it takes a bit of effort like staying fit takes daily discipline and effort. With the links between gums disease and other systemic diseases, you don't want to take any cha nces. See your dentist regularly and maintain good home care by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.