Good Oral Hygiene
Start teaching your children to take care of their teeth and gums at an early age. Healthy habits learned in childhood pays off in a big way in adulthood. And remember that you’re a role model for your kids, so you need to have good oral hygiene habits — brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly.
Six ways that having healthy teeth and gums can help boost your overall health:
1. Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease
Chronic inflammation and bacteria in the mouth and gums can find its way into the bloodstream, leading to thickening of the arteries and increasing the risk of a heart attack; while fatty plaques that build up on the inside of the vessels can break off, go to the brain and cause a stroke. This link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease has been shown in numerous studies. The findings of these studies suggests that maintaining good oral hygiene can help protect overall health.
2. Helps Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable if You Have Diabetes
People with uncontrolled diabetes often have gum disease. Also people who had higher levels of periodontal disease had twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with low levels or no gum infections. Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease and tooth loss. Having gum infection/gum disease makes it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Good oral hygiene reducing your risk of gingivitis and gum disease and hence controlling your blood sugar levels if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
3. Reduces Your Risk of Infection and Inflammation in Other Parts of Your Body
Poor oral health has been linked to the development of infection in other parts of the body. Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts say the mechanism of destruction of connective tissues in both gum disease and RA is similar.
Keeping your mouth clean and healthy can also help keep your lungs protected according to a recent study in the Journal of Periodontology. Researchers found that patients suffering from a respiratory illness such as pneumonia, acute bronchitis, an upper respiratory infection, or COPD had poorer periodontal health than those in the control group. The reason for this association likely lies in the bacteria caused by periodontal disease, which forms in the upper throat. From there it can easily be inhaled into the lower respiratory tract and can obstruct breathing or develop into more serious lung-related problems. So again good oral hygiene is #1 key in preventing these diseases.
4. Preserves Your 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 — both skills used in everyday life.
5. Boosts Your Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
Decayed teeth and gum disease are often associated, not only with an unsightly mouth, but also with very bad breath — so bad, it can affect your confidence, self-image, and self-esteem.
With a healthy mouth that’s free of gum disease and cavities, you’ll have a better quality of life – you can eat and chew your food properly, sleep better, and have a better concentrate by not being distracted with aching teeth or mouth infections. Read more on tips to fight bad breath. Good oral hygiene is #1 way to fight bad breath, but that is not all.
6. Helps Pregnant Women Carry Their Babies to Term
Pregnant women have an increased chance of developing gingivitis, a condition that leaves gums inflamed, bleeding, swollen, or tender. According to the American Academy of Periodontists, about fifty percent of pregnant women develop gingivitis. Some research suggests a relationship between gum disease and pre-term, low-birth-weight infants.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is still the best goal. If you’re pregnant, visit your dentist as part of your prenatal care and brush and floss regularly.
Eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene help reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss once a day. Using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste can help reduce bacteria in the mouth that can cause gingivitis.
Click here to learn more about link between oral health and overall health.
Here is a video about Gingivitis and Stop Bleeding Gums
By: Ladan Zinati
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