By Debra S. Lowe, D.M.D.
Yes, the health of your whole body is related to the health of your mouth….
It’s a two-way street. Of course, the best way to a healthy smile is through prevention. This means making healthy choices, which include diet, lifestyle, habits, hygiene, and yes, visits to the dentist.
Prevention of oral problems like tooth decay and gum disease depends on good brushing and flossing habits. However, there is more to it.
Diet is very important. Choose healthy foods and drinks. Eat plenty of fresh, crunchy vegetables and fruits. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Avoid processed carbohydrates, sugars, and sweet drinks. Soda pop, frequent juices, and energy drinks are “invisible candy” that sticks to your teeth.
Choose healthy habits, which again, include brushing and flossing. Get regular exercise. It is good for the heart, muscles and bones, not to mention the psyche. People who exercise regularly tend to have a healthier diet and less stress, and thus, are healthier and happier.
A healthy diet… less cavities…less stress…less grinding of your teeth. When you grind or clench your teeth you can chip them, wear them away, cause sensitivity. It also causes muscle soreness and headaches.
Avoid bad habits like smoking and chewing tobacco. They affect both the teeth and the gums. Oral cancer can be deadly or result in disfigurement and the loss of easy chewing.
Avoid biting your nails or opening things with your teeth. That can cause tooth chipping.
Avoid continuous snacking and drinking of sweetened beverages, to avoid an increased risk of decay.
Prevention also means regular check-ups and cleanings at the dental office. During your visit, not only does your hygienist clean your teeth of plaque, tartar and bacteria, but your dentist will evaluate the soft tissues and check your teeth for signs of problems you may be unaware of.
No, you may not always feel a problem that is present in your mouth. With regular visits, if a problem arises, it can be detected early before it becomes painful, costly, and time intensive. If an abnormal condition is left untreated, the problem usually presents itself at a most inconvenient time and might be quite painful!
During these visits, the dentist and hygienist may also see signs of diseases occurring elsewhere in your body. The gums may be unhealthy and bleed. It may not only be a plaque issue…it could be related to diabetes. Worn teeth, scalloped tongues may be signs of sleep apnea. Acidic erosion can signify GERD or sleep apnea.
It’s all about going Beyond your Smile to Total Health!
If you are experiencing any dental problems, have any concerns, or if you are just a proactive type of person, we are here to help. Give our office a call at (440) 954-8300.
TREAT YOURSELF TO A BRIGHT SMILE!
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