Protect Your Teeth While You Still Have Them
Unless you have a lot of extra money to spend, it is a good idea to protect your teeth so that you can keep them for as long as possible. As many as 30 percents of people in America over 65 do not have any natural teeth left. By taking care to improve dental health now, you may be able to keep your natural teeth much longer than that.
Start with Good Oral Hygiene
There are many kinds of bacteria in your mouth – about 500 different kinds. They are constantly forming plaque on your teeth after each meal. By practicing good oral hygiene, you can help protect your teeth from premature and unnecessary cavities. You want to be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time and then floss between your teeth every night before you go to bed.
The bad bacteria multiply and convert sugar and food into an acid. This acid attacks and corrodes the enamel on your teeth – leading to cavities and gum disease. With good oral hygiene, you can minimize the effect of the acid.
Be Aware of Gum Disease
If you have not taken good care of your teeth up until this time, you need to watch for symptoms of gum disease. The key symptoms include bleeding of your gums and red or inflamed gums. If you have these symptoms, it is the early stages of gum disease. It is an indication that you need better oral care. Practicing brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily will usually help you eliminate gum disease.
Gum disease is a more serious problem than many people realize. It can lead to significant health problems that could even shorten your life. In recent years, researchers have discovered that the bacteria that cause gum disease are responsible for at least other 50 diseases. The primary factor is inflammation, which this bacteria causes. The diseases include cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, infertility, rheumatoid arthritis, aging, dementia, many forms of cancer, and many more.
As gum disease progressively gets worse in the absence of good oral health, it becomes periodontitis. The CDC claims that almost 50 percent of adults over 30 have some form of periodontitis.
At this stage, pockets are formed along the gum line, and the bad bacteria produce colonies – out of reach of your toothbrush. The acid that the bacteria produce now starts attacking not only your gums, but also the structures that keep your teeth in place, and your jaw bone. If periodontitis is allowed to continue, your teeth will become loose and start to fall out. It is because of this disease – which is preventable – that so many seniors do not have their natural teeth.
What you eat also greatly affects the condition of your gums and teeth. The bacteria produce acid every time you eat or drink something sugary – especially soda. The acid takes the minerals out of your enamel which weakens it. Eating healthy foods helps to remineralize the enamel, making them strong. It is an ongoing process.
The right kind of foods will also strengthen your immune system, enabling it to fight gum disease. This will also make it stronger to be able to help fight against oral cancer.
Soda and other sugary drinks are also a serious problem for your teeth and gums. You can do much to improve dental health by greatly reducing the sodas and sugary foods you drink and eat. Sodas contain strong acids, too, as well as up to nine teaspoons of sugar per can.
Two-third of all cases of oral cancer is caused by smoking and other forms of tobacco. The nicotine in e-cigs is also a carcinogen. Tobacco hurts your oral health because it weakens your immune system by reducing the flow of blood in your mouth and gums.
Keep the Saliva Flowing
Another important key to having a healthy mouth is to ensure that you constantly have a good supply of saliva. It also helps to keep the bad bacteria under control. A dry mouth can be caused by diuretics such as coffee, tea, and other sugary foods. Medications can also cause it, as well as some diseases – such as diabetes. If medications are causing it, talk to your doctor about changing your prescription, because it can impact the health of your gums and teeth.
Get Regular Dental Check-Ups
Getting regular dental check-ups can also help you to have better oral health. A dentist can correct problems before they become severe – and costly.
If you live in the Carrollton, TX or Grapevine, TX areas, you can start to improve dental health by making a dentist visit at the offices of Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist. He performs many dental services and can help you get on the right track with teeth cleaning to avoid gum disease. For more information, or to set up an appointment, you can call (817) 756-8578.