Few people realize that their oral health is linked to their overall well being. When your mouth is having problems, it can lead to issues in other parts of your body, and vice versa. You need to have a balance so that you can maintain a healthy body. Birmingham dentists urge patients to take their dental hygiene seriously or face the repercussions that may eventually follow. One issue commonly found in people is periodontal disease. This develops when you don’t treat gingivitis, leading to more infections and pain.
If this doesn’t convince you to take better care of your oral hygiene, here’s what periodontal disease can lead to if you don’t prevent or treat it in a timely fashion:
- Heart problems. Studies show that those who have gum disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease. It’s still unclear why this happens, but it could be due to harmful bacteria from your mouth entering into your bloodstream.
- Memory issues and increased risk of Alzheimer’s. One study shows that people with the fewest teeth suffered from dementia. It’s also believed that oral bacteria can contribute to plaque build up that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s.
- An imbalance in blood sugar. Studies show folks with diabetes are more commonly found with periodontal disease. Research shows that gum disease can make it more difficult to control your blood sugar levels.
- Respiratory infections, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia. It’s believed that infections occur when the bacteria in your mouth is inhaled into your lungs and inflaming your airways.
- Decreased fertility in women. Studies show young women with gum disease took more than seven months to become pregnant, which was two months longer than young women without gum disease.
With this information in mind, you may be more convinced that it’s time to improve your oral care regimen. Here are some things you can do to prevent periodontal disease.
1. Brush and Floss the Right Way
It’s easier for diseases and infections to occur when your teeth and gums aren’t properly cleaned. A build up of tartar and plaque can spring about more viruses, fungi and bacteria, leading to periodontal disease. It’s good to thoroughly brush your teeth after each meal and floss. Don’t brush your teeth too vigorously because this can cause damage to your enamel. Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue!
2. Make Sure to Use Mouthwash
Brushing and flossing are great ways to improve your oral health. You can top off your dental care routine with a mouthwash. This helps to freshen your breath, reduce plaque buildup and keep tooth decay under control. It can also reduce the severity of gingivitis. When shopping for mouthwash, choose a product that is dentist-recommended.
3. Eat a Nutritious Diet
The foods you eat play a big role in how healthy your body is – including your mouth. If you consume a lot of sugars and soda, then you are increasing your chances of damaging your teeth. You want to stay away from too much of these and ensure you have a well-balanced diet that consists of fresh produce. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can increase your intake of vitamins and minerals, which can help to improve your teeth and gum health. You want to include more foods that are rich in vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin A.
4. Educate Yourself of Risk Factors
There are certain factors that greatly increase your risk of periodontal disease. It’s good to know what these are, so you can eliminate them from your life and potentially prevent the onset of periodontal disease. These factors include:
- Lack of nutrition
- Hormonal imbalances
- Poor oral hygiene
- Faulty dentistry
5. See a Dental Professional
If you start to see signs of periodontal disease, you should consult with a periodontist to have it checked out. This will ensure the problem is nipped in the bud before worsening. It’s also a good idea to schedule regular appointments with a dentist in Birmingham, AL, so that you can identify oral issues before they become a major concern.
Your teeth are more than cosmetic – they are a window to your health. Make sure you take good care of your teeth and gums using these tips!