For most people, great oral hygiene is a hard habit to maintain. From brushing and flossing to mouthwash and eating properly, there is a lot that goes into caring for your teeth and gums. Several studies have proven a direct correlation between oral health and overall health. For starters, our teeth can reveal a lot about our diet. High sugar and acidic foods and beverages can cause wear and tear on your tooth enamel. The mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. Without proper care, bacteria can cause tooth decay, infection, and even gum disease.
While poor oral hygiene can cause health problems, health problems can also cause poor oral health. For example, immune diseases like HIV/AIDS can lower the body’s ability to fight off infection, including those in the mouth. Also, several prescription medications can cause dry mouth. This poses issues because saliva is necessary to neutralize acids and wash away food.
Other health problems that affect your mouth include arthritis, eating disorders, and some cancers. Cardiovascular disease is linked to oral inflammation, osteoporosis causes weakened and brittle bones, gum disease is more prevalent and severe with diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease can often cause oral health neglect.
Your mouth is the first line of defense when it comes to taking care of your body. Start with regular brushing and flossing, and incorporate a fluoride mouth rinse. Replace your toothbrush every few months, and do not neglect regular cleanings. You should visit a dental hygienist for a deep cleaning and oral health checkups every six months.
In addition to making teeth cleaning a habit, incorporate a healthy diet and avoid tobacco use. Poor diet and tobacco use will wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Without proper cleaning and diet, your mouth can become full of bacteria and plaque, leading to infection. One thing leads to another, because infections in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause health issues in other areas of the body.
Investing in your oral hygiene is an investment in your overall health. Not only can Dr. Tom Huerter offer additional tips for taking care of your mouth, he can help identify signs of other issues you may need to address. Schedule an appointment today and start on a path to a healthier future!