Three Steps to Good Oral Health

When it comes to oral hygiene, many people believe that brushing their teeth once a day, usually in the morning, is sufficient. This is far from the truth and research has shown that maintaining good oral hygiene can dramatically improve your way of life. Poor oral hygiene leads to bad breath, broken teeth, infections, missing teeth and more, which directly affects the way we lead our lives and function, not to mention what and how we eat. What makes matters worse is that new research indicates that poor oral hygiene is directly related to heart disease, diabetes, strokes and even low-weight babies at childbirth and pre-term labor, due to the bacteria in the mouth leaking into the bloodstream. Below are 3 simple steps that you can follow to ensure good oral health for you and your family.

Step 1 – Visit your Dentist Regularly – He/She Misses You

Only a trained professional can help you spot the wrong you are doing to your teeth and gums. Regular check-ups with your dentist will help you treat the current problems you have in your mouth, as well as prevent problems that may arise in the future. Your trained professional will look for signs of oral disease, dental cavities and more. It is also said that some cancerous lesions start in the mouth, so making the time for regular trips to your dentist may just save your life.

Step 2 – Follow a Strict Oral Hygiene Regime on a Daily Basis

If you are not using fluoride based toothpaste, you need to get some right away. Fluoride toothpaste is the only dental hygiene product that properly removes bacteria and plaque that causes gum disease (periodontal disease), dental cavities, and proximal caries. You need to make sure that you brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day – more if possible.

Flossing is also a major part of good oral health. Many people forget to floss, or just don’t bother doing it. Flossing at least once a day will dramatically increase your oral health. Without flossing you are only cleaning about 2 thirds of the surface of your teeth, leaving the bacteria and plaque to wreak havoc on the rest of your teeth and gums. Make flossing a ritual before you brush your teeth in the morning.

Step 3 – Eat Well for Good Strong Teeth and Gums

Eating healthily is not only good for your general well-being; it is also good for your oral health. Many nutrients that your body receives from healthy food are used to ward of cavities in your mouth and keep your gums healthy. Doctors also recommend that you stay away from too much candy and sticky sweets, and cut down on the amount of sugar in your diet if you want to maintain a healthy mouth. Another thing to remember is the 5-a-day rule for fruits and veggies, as these stimulate the salivary flow which aids in the re-mineralization of decaying teeth.

If you are looking to maintain your oral health, doctors also recommend that you do not touch tobacco products and cut down on your alcohol consumption. The use of these products individually may lead to some mouth cancers, and if used in combination will have an even greater effect on, not only your oral hygiene, but your general well-being as well.

How Can Asthma Affect Your Oral Health?

Asthma is commonly identified as causing problems on the respiratory system, but there’s more to it. When you’re identified as having asthma, there are a lot of implications set to it, and your medications can cause some problems on your oral health. Because the medications are commonly put in your inhaler, then spraying the medication into your mouth and not directly towards your throat can cause the medication to stay solely in the mouth and not be ingested.

As a result, your asthma may change your normal oral health and cause some nuisance. The medicines may have adverse effects to your mouth, teeth, gums and throat, all of which are susceptible to extreme reactions. The medications can cause you to have dry mouth, sometimes have infection in the oral area. Increased and decreased salivation, depending on the type of medication you’re using, are also some of the most common side-effects of asthma medications.

Although these inconveniences may seem small in the grander scale of taking prescribed drugs, they can actually cause some complications. Swollen salivary glands can cause dry throat, one of the frequent conditions you’ll encounter, can cause problems in swallowing, tasting, chewing, and even in talking. Another serious encounter that you may have is candidiasis, an infection caused by oral bacteria that manifests as patches of white, occasionally with red rashes. This bacteria is base on yeast, which thrives in heat. If your mouth is not producing enough saliva, this can be a constant problem. Some medications may also cause an over-production of saliva and cause other bacterial infections to manifest.

There are also some medicines that may cause strong nausea and affect your taste glands. This can distress the signals being sent to your brain and cause a more serious problem, especially in ingesting food. The lingering medicine in your mouth can effectively cause other some other infections, as well as produce swollen glands.

There are several ways to avoid having oral health problems. Because most of the complications are caused by the inhaler, one of the best way to remedy this is to use the space. This is a device that can be attached at the end of the inhaler, which directly sprays the medication into the throat. This lessens the chances for your mouth taking the brunt of the medication, which can lead to less irritation on your gums and teeth.

When taking medication in your inhaler, you have to make sure that your doctor knows about you medication. Bring your prescriptions and talk to them about your attacks, especially the latest one. Discuss the choices you have with the medicines you’re taking. Ask them about using the spacer, as it may not work with some of the medication. Most of all, understand the possible side-effects of your medication, especially when it comes to your oral health. Being aware of the possible problems may help you prevent it, and will also let you continue living the lifestyle you’re used to, and without the eventual sores that come with the medicine you’re taking.

Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

We’re all very aware that cigarette smoking has a potentially disastrous effect on our health. From heart disease and cancer to emphysema, cigarette smoke is known to cause a variety of very serious and deadly diseases. Yet, the full effects of smoking on health are often overlooked; and in fact, cigarette smoking also negatively impacts your oral health. Indeed, tobacco smoking is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults.

The effects of smoking on health are well documented, and smoking tobacco can have a significant effect on the appearance and health of your mouth and gums. Just a few of the dental problems associated with smoking include:

  • Halitosis (or bad breath)
  • Staining or discolouration of the teeth
  • Inflammation of the salivary glands
  • Advanced buildup of tartar and plaque on the teeth
  • Bone loss in the jaw
  • Increased risk of mouth cancers and leukoplakia
  • Increased risk of gum disease
  • Slower healing of gum tissue
  • Increased risk of complications following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, oral surgery, and dental implants

In addition, there are a number of serious oral and general health concerns that often result from cigarette smoking:

  • Oral and pharyngeal cancers
  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Tooth decay
  • Premature aging
  • Sores or lesions in the mouth

There are some sobering statistics that support the negative relationship between tobacco smoking and oral health. For example, nearly 90% of patients suffering from mouth, lip, tongue, or throat cancer use tobacco products. Furthermore, continued and increased use of these tobacco products significantly increases the risk of developing these cancers. Similarly more than a third of patients who continue to smoke after remission of oral cancers will develop second cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat.

Unfortunately, even exposure to smokeless tobacco products is dangerous for your oral health. Cigars, cigarettes, snuff, and chewing tobacco are all associated with an increased risk of oral cancer, cancer of the throat and esophagus, and other aesthetic effects of tobacco consumption (e.g. stained teeth and gum disease).

Smoking and Gum Disease

Smoking cigarettes is a major contributor to gum disease, as smoking weakens the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. Recent research suggests that smoking disturbs the normal functioning of gum tissue cells making smokers significantly more susceptible to periodontal or gum disease and infection. Moreover, smoking cigarettes prevents proper blood flow to the gums which may slow healing.

Ultimately, in order to maintain good overall health and proper oral health, dentists and doctors will always recommend quitting smoking and ceasing the consumption of smokeless tobacco products. Still, regardless of how long you have smoked or used other tobacco products, quitting will have an immediately positive impact on your health.