Your teeth can look quite pretty when they’ve just been whitened and you’re smiling and everyone is complimenting you on your pearly whites from your most recent dentistry visit. But your teeth do more than just look pretty. They help you chew food thoroughly for digestion, as well as help you speak.
You know how to take care of your teeth: brush, floss, rinse, and go to the dentist or orthodontist for an occasional visit, but do you know what causes dental issues in the first place?
The following can affect your dental health:
- The development of health conditions
- Seasonal allergies
It’s hard to avoid stress in this hectic world we live in. Some stress is healthy for you, as it increases productivity, alertness, and energy levels. But too much stress can have negative effects on not just your physical health, but oral health as well.
The effects of stress on oral health can include:
- Mouth sores (much like ulcers)
- Teeth grinding/temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
- Constant clenched teeth
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor diet/nutrition
- Gum disease or worsening gum disease
- Missed dentist appointments
- Dry mouth
To manage stress:
- Learn relaxation techniques
- Keep up oral hygiene at home
- Visit the dentist regularly
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Sleep repairs the body and keeps you healthy mentally. But a lack of sleep will not only impact physical and mental health, but oral health as well.
A lack of sleep can make gums more susceptible to periodontal gum disease, hinder the tissues in your mouth by not allowing them to repair and grow, and hinder emotional health. This elevates levels of anxiety and depression-related disorders, which hurts the teeth by causing bruxism.
To get more sleep:
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day
- Don’t eat after 7 pm
- Avoid caffeine and sweetened beverages in the evening
- Take a melatonin supplement
- Avoid TV, computers, and phones at least half an hour before bedtime
You know poor dental care leads to cavities, but it can also lead to more serious issues.
Bacteria from inflamed gums and periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and cause atherosclerosis, decreasing blood flow through the body and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Bacteria from gingivitis can enter the brain through nerve channels in the head or by the bloodstream, which can even lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Breathing in bacteria over a long period of time can cause lung infections, pneumonia included.
Inflamed gums and periodontal disease may make controlling blood sugar levels harder and can make diabetes symptoms worse.
Some issues can include tooth pain and dry mouth. The tooth pain is caused by the hollow spaces within the head being filled with mucus due to pollen and dust. Breathing through the mouth with a stuffy nose can cause dry mouth, increasing the chances for developing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. There’s also no saliva present to get rid of the bacteria.
Some helpful tips include:
- Staying hydrated
- Gargling with salt water
- Brushing and flossing
- Treating allergies
- Visiting the dentist
Oral health may not seem like a big deal, but if you don’t care for your teeth now, you may be paying for it later. Relieving stress, getting enough sleep, watching for other health issues and keeping your allergies in check will help you keep your teeth in top shape.
This guest post is courtesy of Summit Dental Care, a dentist in Twin Falls, Idaho dedicated to comfortable, affordable care for you and your family. Visit us online today to make an appointment.