Maintaining good dental hygiene practices and visiting your dentist on a regular basis can help you stay healthy into your senior years. Many people don’t know about the relationship between their dental health and their overall health, and are unaware that good aging and good dental health go hand in hand. The more you know, the easier it will be to take care of yourself as you age.
Good Dental Health Prevents Tooth Loss
Gum disease (not aging) is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. People who take care of their gums are more likely to keep their natural teeth. Here’s what you can do to take care of your gums:
- Floss daily. Flossing at least once per day gets rid of food that traps bacteria against your gums and teeth.
- Stop smoking. Smoking weakens your immune system and is associated with the onset of gum disease.
- Brush twice daily. Brushing your teeth twice each day reduces bacteria in the mouth and can help prevent gum disease.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Choose your dental cleaning products wisely to ensure that your teeth and gums are getting as clean as possible; consult with your dentist if you’re not sure which products are right for you.
Of course, in addition to all this, you should also visit your dentist once or twice per year, whatever your dentist recommends. Your dentist will be able to identify problems with your gums as they develop, and can help you determine the best course of action to maintain a healthy mouth.
Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health
Studies suggest that there’s a link between good oral health and good overall health. When oral health is not well-managed, diseases can happen elsewhere in the body. Some examples of these diseases include:
- This is an infection that occurs in the lining around the heart chambers or valves, but usually the bacteria comes from the bloodstream and originates in the mouth.
- . Some bacteria can travel from your mouth to your lungs, causing certain respiratory diseases.
- . Some studies show a link between premature birth, low birth weight, and gum disease.
- Cardiovascular disease. Some studies show that there is a connection between heart disease and bacterial infection in the mouth.
To maintain good dental health, follow best practices and the advice of your dentist.
Your Dentist Might Know You Have Diabetes Before You Do
Diabetes can cause a variety of problems that manifest in the mouth, including yeast infection, periodontal disease and loss of gum and bone tissue. These symptoms can be subtle, but may be the first warning signs of trouble. Your dentist will likely recognize these signs, having seen them before. also manifests in the mouth, and may be noticed by your dentist before it’s noticed by you. Going to the dentist regularly can help you identify symptoms in their early stages.
Eating Nutritious Food Improves Dental Health
The way you eat can affect your dental health. You can strengthen your teeth by choosing your foods wisely and by limiting snacks. For example:
- Eat foods that contain lots of vitamin C to promote healthy gums. Examples of foods that contain lots of vitamin C include peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, citrus and potatoes.
- Eat foods rich in phosphorus to strengthen your teeth. Examples of phosphorus-rich foods include nuts, beans, eggs and fish.
- Eat foods that are calcium rich to promote healthy teeth. Examples of calcium-rich foods include yogurt and cheese, milk, fortified soy drinks, almonds, canned salmon and spinach.
Visit Your Dentist Today
You can improve your gum health and even your overall health by visiting your dentist on a regular basis. During your appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth, provide advice for improving your dental health, and alert you to any changes that could be a red flag. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis provides you with information you need to stay healthy into late adulthood. Call today to make an appointment.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.