We all know that regular brushing, flossing and visits to your dental and oral therapist are all essential parts of looking after your teeth and gums. And while these practices are important, there are other things that are worth paying attention to when it comes to keeping your oral health in check.
1) There is a connection between your overall health and oral health
As medical research has advanced over the years, it is now widely believed that your mouth can show both positive and negative signs of overall health. And inversely, poor oral health can be reflected in other areas of your body. From looking at your mouth, signs of disease, dehydration, malnutrition, drug use and bad habits can be seen. Further to that, diseases such as asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis can be associated with poor oral health. This oral systemic connection is a way of your body communicating problems, so instead of ignoring health issues, consider why they have come about and see a doctor.
2) Small issues could be a medical emergency
Many people brush off swollen gums and tooth sensitivity, hoping that it will get better over time or just go away. However, these are tell-tale signs that something is wrong, and may mean that there is something more serious going on. Swollen gums can be a sign of advanced gum disease, and if left too late, it can result in tooth loss. Tooth sensitivity can lead to abscesses or infections so it’s best to get checked out by your oral health therapist to find the root of the problem.
3) Some types of food are better for your teeth than others
Certain foods that have a high acid or sugar content can wreak havoc on your teeth by wearing down enamel and encouraging tooth decay. While fruit may seem healthy, many types are not good for your teeth. Dried fruits, crackers and sticky foods stick to your teeth and damage your teeth enamel, so you should rinse your mouth with water and brush as soon as you can, or avoid those foods altogether.
4) Stress can affect oral health in more ways than one
While stress is not something that can be seen, it can have a negative effect on you physically. When it comes to your oral health, stress can decrease saliva production and make you grind your teeth at night. Saliva production is important because it helps guard against bacteria in your mouth. Plus, after a tough day you may forget to brush your teeth.
5) Medication: Good for your symptoms but not necessarily your oral health
Some medications are known to inflame gum tissue which can be both uncomfortable and a problem for oral surgery. Medication can also give you a dry mouth, and with a lack of saliva production you are more at risk of bacteria growing on your teeth and gums. If you are on medication for a period of time, let your oral health team know so they can advise you on how best to manage your oral health.
For the best possible oral health, it’s important to have these things in mind along with your brushing and flossing routine. Keep up with your regular dentist check-ups and if you have any concerns in between visits, don’t hesitate to book in an extra appointment.