Oral diseases open our mouths to overall health problems, making regular dental visits to the family dentist for a check up a must. The mouth is often neglected when it comes to health issues thinking that cavities, swollen gums, and bad breath are just dental problems. Not quite.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), oral health is a key indicator of overall health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The WHO further defined a healthy mouth as one that is free from chronic pain, oral cancer, gum diseases, tooth decay, infection and sores, tooth loss, and other conditions that limit a person’s ability to chew, bite, speak, etc.
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
At Caring Family Dentistry Irvine, we educate our patients on the importance of taking good care of the mouth, teeth and gums. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Below are some tips on health and lifestyle changes that can help decrease the development oral diseases:
- Stop smoking– Smoking tobacco poses a significant risk for development of periodontitis or gingivitis. Smokers are seven times more likely to get gum disease than non-smokers.
- Reduce stress– Avoid stress as it weakens your body’s immune system to fight off any infection.
- Eat a well-balanced diet– Eating foods rich in antioxidant properties can boost your immune system to fight off any infection. Food rich in vitamin E and C, nuts, citrus fruits, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables can help your body repair damaged tissues
- Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth– Bruxism or grinding of the teeth can cause jaw pain and permanent damage to the teeth. It puts excess force on surrounding tissues and could increase the rate at which these tissues are destroyed.
- Floss and brush your teeth regularly– Brushing your teeth regularly keeps build-up of plaque from the front and back surfaces of your teeth. Regular flossing removes food debris stuck between teeth and under the gums, as well as keeps plaque from forming.
- Visit your family dentist regularly– Visiting a family dentist regularly will help prevent or detect early onset of dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 mentioned that periodontal (gum) disease ranks 11th in the most prevalent diseases globally. Gum diseases (periodontitis) occur mainly due to poor oral hygiene and tobacco use, according to the WHO.
Prevent Gum Disease
Preventing the onset of gum disease by following a regimen recommended by your family dentist will also arrest the development of other health problems like chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), cancer, heart, and other diseases.
In a study, 9.2 percent of adults in the U.S. with chronic kidney disease (CKD) were found to also suffer from periodontal disease compared with 4.8 percent CKD patients who did not have gum problems.
Research also showed that bacteria found in periodontitis, Porphyromonas gingivalis — are seen in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s. It was also learned from a study that gum infection boosts the production of beta-amyloid, the neurological characteristic of Alzheimer’s. The presence of chronic periodontitis (CP) amongst Alzheimer’s patients showed decline in cognition over a six-month period versus AD patients without CP.
The heart may also not be spared when you have gum disease. The bacteria in the gums can find its way to the blood supply and reach the heart causing inflammation and damage. Again, the P. gingivalis bacteria is pointed by evidence as commonly found in the coronary and femoral arteries.
A study involving over 68,000 adults found a strong connection between gum disease and overall cancer risk, including pancreatic cancer.
While it may seem far-fetched, gum disease and diabetes are related to each other. Some people even find out they have diabetes because of the gum disease they sought treatment for. Experts say that people with diabetes are more likely to have periodontitis and vice versa. If diabetes is uncontrolled, it could lead to gum disease and if periodontitis is poorly managed, it will also worsen diabetes.
A person with gum disease is also at risk of having lung problems. The bacteria from periodontitis might be breathed into the lungs and trigger infections leading to inflammation.
Keeping a healthy dental regimen is key in achieving an overall wellbeing. Seeing your dentist regularly and keeping a good oral hygiene may lessen the risk of developing a range of serious health problems. Gum diseases normally start silently, therefore unnoticed, until it becomes painful and inflamed or in advanced stage. In the end, bear in mind that everything in our body is connected and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key.
If you care about your overall health, visit Dr. Nolan Jangaard, a leading family dentist in Irvine, and put your dental health worries to rest. At Caring Family Dentistry Irvine, we take care of your oral health and help you overcome dental anxiety so you can get the treatment you need. Contact us today at (949) 551-2024 or fill out our contact form for your dental appointment or to know more about services.