Health Benefits Of Clean And Healthy Teeth
Known as “the gateway to the body” the mouth has a massive impact on our overall health.
By: Marlene Affeld
When your mom used to hound you to “Brush your teeth, or you will get cavities” she was right. Poor dental hygiene results in a diverse array of unpleasant problems that are not limited to “bear breath” and stained and discolored teeth.
Poor Dental Hygiene Damages Health
The food and beverages we consume contain complex starches and sugars. These starches and sugars adhere to the surface of the tooth and form a corrosive acid that erodes tooth enamel causing cavities while allowing mouth bacteria to grow. The immune system acts to attack the bacterial infection, and gum tissue becomes inflamed.
Chronic gum inflammation leads to gingivitis, the forerunner of peritonitis or gum disease. Symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding gums, irritation, redness, and swelling. Left unchecked, the inflammation and the chemicals it releases began to eat away at delicate gum tissue and the bone structure that holds our teeth in place: resulting in severe gum disease, known as periodontitis, an Inflammation that can also cause problems in the rest of the body.
Mouth Health and Diabetes
Known as “the gateway to the body” the mouth has a massive impact on our overall health. As medical science learns more about how dental health affects the body, it is becoming clear that inflammation that starts in the mouth impacts the body’s ability to maintain and control blood sugar.
There is an established link between diabetes and periodontics. Inflammation that begins in the mouth can weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. Patients with diabetes experience difficulty-processing sugar due to an imbalance in insulin, a powerful hormone that converts sugar to energy.
Pamela McClain, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology notes, "Periodontal disease further complicates diabetes because the inflammation impairs the body’s ability to utilize insulin. To further complicate matters, diabetes and periodontitis have a two-way relationship. High blood sugar provides ideal conditions for infection to grow, including gum infections. Fortunately, you can use the gum disease-diabetes relationship to your favor: managing one can help bring the other under control.”
Oral Hygiene And The Heart
Although science does fully understand the reason, it is crystal clear that gum disease and heart disease are interlinked. Studies reveal that 91 percent of patients with heart disease have periodontics in contrast to only 66 percent of people with no cardiovascular disease. Both heart disease and gum disease have common risk factors that include an unhealthy diet, excess weight, and smoking. Many doctors strongly feel that periodontitis plays a direct role in increasing the risk of heart disease.
Sally Cram, DDS, PC, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association notes, "The theory is that inflammation in the mouth causes inflammation in the blood vessels. Inflammation can increase the risk of heart attack in a number of ways. Inflamed blood vessels allow less blood to travel between the heart and the rest of the body, raising blood pressure. There’s also a greater risk that fatty plaque will break off the wall of a blood vessel and travel to the heart or the brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.”
Dental Care In Childhood
Healthy teeth begin even before we are born. The mother’s diet significant impacts the development of teeth and gums and play a role in their condition throughout life.
Parents should start a program of oral hygiene before teeth emerge by softly rubbing the infant’s gums with a soft, clean cloth or sterile gauze pad after each feeding to remove the plague that tends to build up on infant gums.
Begin to establish a routine of teaching your young child to brush their teeth at the age of about one year. Regular brushing will teach your child a good habit that will significantly improve the child’s chance of having strong and healthily teeth for a lifetime.
Baby teeth are especially vulnerable to decay as soon as they break through the gums. Encourage your child to brush regularly; preferable for 2 to 3 minutes at a time; once in the morning following breakfast and again after a bedtime snack. Make the process fun by incorporating toothbrushing games or rewards for remembering to brush without being told. Use a timer and encourage the child to see how well they can clean their mouth before the timer goes off.
Teach children that although they may not be able to brush after every meal, they should always rinse their mouth with clear water after sweet snacks.
Proper Tooth Brushing Techniques
We have heard since we were children, properly brushing our teeth is important. Unfortunately, the majority of dental problems are the result of incorrect or inadequate dental hygiene. Dental experts agree, noting, “Always brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth as that is where most plaque build-up will occur. Hold the toothbrush firmly against the teeth tilted to about a 45-degree angle and then brush with circular motions. Ensure surfaces of the teeth gleam as well as the area of each tooth around the gum line. Use the same motion on the inside of the teeth and then adopt a vertical motion with the brush on the front teeth. Remember to gently brush the tongue as this will remove bacteria and help keep the mouth sparkling fresh. Be sure to also brush the soft tissue in the mouth including the gums, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth to eliminate food, germs, and bacteria.”
Halitosis or bad breath may be one of the first indications of a problem, most often caused by particles caught between the teeth or a gum infection. Regular tooth brushing is the best solution for the problem.
Take Responsibility For Your Mouth
Bad breath isn’t “cool” and hinders social interaction. Face it! Do you think that people do not notice your bad breath and take offense? Bad breath can ruin relationships and hamper social interaction at school, work or with colleagues, friends, and family. Bad breath is such a sensitive subject even your lover may not tell you how bad your breath stinks.
A nasty smelling breath and yellowed are blackened teeth isn’t likely the image you want to present to the world. Do right by yourself and others and take responsibility for your mouth.
• Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a check-up
• Establish a routine of twice-daily brushing
You Deserve A Stunning Smile
Everyone wants to have a beautiful, sparkling smile that will last a lifetime! A radiant and healthy smile does wonders for your confidence and self-esteem. Most people are not born with movie-star smiles. Many people are self-conscious about their mouth, hiding their smiles and masking chronic bad breath with sugar mints. Others contend with crooked teeth, overbites or ugly teeth resulting from poor childhood oral care. Not to worry: you don’t have to live with an unhealthy or unattractive mouth. The latest advances in dental technology over the past two decades have made it possible, with the aid of your dentist, to have the smile you have always dreamed of.
Biological Dentistry - Springwater Dental Institute. http://www.springwaterinstitute.com/services/biological-dentistry/
Cancer and Diabetes | CTCA. https://www.cancercenter.com/community/nutritional-support/tab/cancer-and-diabetes/
AmeriPlan Health Awareness: Oral Health: The Mouth-Body .... http://www.ameriplanblog.com/ibo/ameriplan-health-awareness-oral-health-the-mouth-body-connection/