Get a Healthier Mouth and Get Better Overall Health
It is true that keeping your mouth healthy is the way of keeping your whole body healthy. If your mouth is not healthy, then you can be sure that you either have other health problems – or you soon will have them. Getting a healthy mouth and keeping it that way is important, but it will take some effort on your part. This how-to guide will tell you how.
Why Having a Healthy Mouth Matters
Research in the past couple of years has revealed that gum disease can lead to many other major health problems. In fact, more than 50 other diseases have been identified as being connected to gum disease. They include such problems as cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, infertility, ED, sleep apnea, Alzheimer's, many forms of cancer, and more.
The key factor in all of these diseases that is present in gum disease is inflammation. The bacteria in gum disease gains access to your bloodstream through your gums, and from there travels all throughout your body, and it can affect all your organs and blood vessels.
While many people look at mild forms of gum disease, called gingivitis, as generally not being serious, it really should be taken seriously. Mild gum disease can usually be eliminated by maintaining a daily regimen of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing before you go to bed. These two steps of oral care can go a long way toward a healthy mouth.
You have many different types of bacteria in your mouth – more than 500 of them. Some of them are good and some are bad. Every day you will find that a film forms on your teeth. It is called plaque. The bad bacteria in the plaque turn the food and sugar you eat or drink into an acid that will corrode the enamel on your teeth.
Recognizing Gum Disease
Over time, these same bacteria will cause gum disease. The acid continues working. Before long, you will likely develop sore gums. Bleeding gums are one of the first symptoms of gum disease. Bad breath is another one.
If gum disease is not stopped, it can become periodontal disease. This is the same bacteria and the natural progression of gum disease. When it reaches this point, the acid starts destroying the structures that hold your teeth in place, and the jaw bone. Your teeth will become loose, and then fall out.
The Importance of Eating Right
Eating the right kind of foods will help you maintain a healthy mouth. Foods such as apples will help to scrape off more plaque each time you bite. Healthy fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals that will strengthen your teeth and your immune system – which is needed to help fight gum disease and oral cancer.
Sugary foods – especially sodas, are definitely bad for your teeth. The sugar feeds the bad bacteria. Each swig of soda you take will feed the bacteria for about 15 minutes – which means your teeth are exposed to acid for that long. If you sip on a sweet drink or eat sweet snacks all day, it means you are exposing your teeth to a lot of acids. Plus, the soda contains a lot of acids, too, of another kind.
You can reduce this threat by drinking water and swishing it around your mouth to wash away the sugar after drinking it. Drinking more water, by substituting it for soda and energy drinks, will also help you to have more saliva, which is also necessary to control the bacteria in your mouth.
Diabetes and Gum Disease
People with diabetes are more prone to having gum disease, including periodontitis. It is necessary to control your blood sugar levels if you want to control gum disease. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true – controlling the bacteria in your mouth is also necessary to control diabetes because when gum disease gets serious, it will cause your blood sugar levels to go higher. A regular exercise program can help you control sugar levels.
The many chemicals found in tobacco are harmful to your teeth and gums. They slow down the flow of blood in your gums, which means it weakens your immune system in your mouth. The nicotine in e-cigs does the same thing, which means they are not safer. The chemicals are also responsible for causing various types of cancer in the mouth, including cancer of the esophagus, the larynx, the gums, the oral cavity, and more. Cancer in the mouth spreads faster than many other cancers because of all the blood vessels in your head and neck.
Get Regular Dentist Appointments
Developing good oral hygiene means that you also need to go to a dentist for regular checkups. The dentist can provide teeth cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that you may have missed, fill any cavities that may have developed, as well as perform an oral cancer screening to make sure your mouth is healthy.
If you live in the Carrollton, TX or Grapevine, TX areas, you can get dental checkups and dental care to maintain your healthy mouth from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist. He performs many types of dental care services. For more information, or to set up an appointment, you can call (817) 756-8578.