The New York Times recently evaluated the latest medical research, and, to nobody’s surprise, good oral health is essential to your overall health. However, what might be shocking is the breadth and depth of impact your oral hygiene routine can have in preventing periodontal disease and many other medical conditions. So, aside from the expected dental problems, including bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, it’s essential to understand the importance of developing good oral hygiene habits and the potential impact of oral health on your overall health, for better or worse!
Periodontal disease is associated with various health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory infections like pneumonia, pregnancy complications, and dementia, among many others. While more research is needed, it almost seems easier to list what oral health doesn’t affect because it seems to affect everything!
The risks of poor oral health affecting your overall health are nearly one in two, whether you experience the early stages of gingivitis or full-blown periodontitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 47 percent of people aged 30 years and older in the United States have some form of periodontal disease. But, even knowing all this, there is still good news and hope!
One of the most important aspects of good oral health is regular brushing and flossing. Brushing helps remove food particles from your teeth and gums, while flossing helps remove plaque buildup between teeth that can cause cavities and gum disease. Bonus: regular brushing and flossing also keep your breath fresh by reducing the bacteria that cause bad breath.
In addition to brushing and flossing, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. During these visits, your dentist will be able to identify any potential problems early on before they become serious issues. They’ll also be able to offer advice on how best to maintain good oral hygiene at home.
A healthy diet is also key for maintaining good oral health. Eating fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes can help reduce plaque buildup on teeth while providing essential vitamins and minerals for overall health. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks like candy or soda can help prevent tooth decay and reduce the risk of developing diabetes or other chronic conditions associated with poor nutrition.
Finally, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your oral and overall health. Smoking increases the risk of developing gum disease as well as increasing the risk of mouth cancer significantly. Quitting smoking will not only improve your oral health but also reduce your risk of developing other serious illnesses, such as heart disease or stroke.
Taking care of your oral health is essential for maintaining your overall health throughout life. By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep your smile looking its best while reducing the risk of developing serious dental or medical problems down the line!
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