10 Things You Should Know About Oral Health and Overall Wellbeing
by Carolyn Lee May 9, 2022
Does oral health affect overall health and wellbeing?
The short answer would be yes. Practicing good oral hygiene is a lifelong commitment that helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Poor oral hygiene can result in dental cavities, gum disease, and more severe illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
When your teeth and gums are healthy, you can eat and speak properly. What’s also great is that it makes you look and feel good, which helps to boost confidence.
Poor oral hygiene and overall health and wellbeing
- Some diseases and conditions associated with poor oral health that can impact overall health and wellness include oral cancer, tooth loss, dental caries, dental trauma, periodontitis (gum disease), and congenital disabilities (cleft lip and palate).
- Severe periodontitis may lead to tooth loss affecting your ability to eat correctly and your physical appearance.
- Untreated dental caries (cavities) will get bigger and lead to other cavities. Tooth decay can expand or deepen, making your teeth brittle and more likely to crack or break.
- Serious cavities left untreated can impact the nerves causing severe pain when nerves are exposed to air. This pain will be constant until the tooth is extracted or treated via a root canal.
- An untreated dental cavity can lead to dental abscesses. Bacteria that spread beyond a cavity can get into the bloodstream and weaken the coronary arteries, resulting in severe heart issues.
Steps to reduce or prevent dental and oral disease
- Brush your teeth two to three times daily to prevent food from getting stuck between your teeth and gums. Regular brushing regularly can help to keep teeth bright and prevent gum disease and bad breath.
- Flossing helps to remove food stuck between the teeth before it becomes plaque. Try flossing before bedtime or after each meal, as this helps to keep cavities from forming and keeps gums healthy.
- Clean your tongue. Your tongue can host a variety of bacteria if left uncleaned. A tongue scraper or a toothbrush with a scraper on the back can help to remove bacteria and improve your breath.
- Ensure you visit the dentist regularly to clean your teeth and get x-rays to have a clear idea of what’s going on with your teeth and gums. This type of preventative care allows you to tackle minor problems before they become significant.
- Limit sugar and caffeine intake and quit smoking. Sugary drinks and foods can increase your risk for cavities. Coffee contains acid, which can wear out your enamel and may cause tooth decay. Smoking can weaken teeth and cause tooth discolouration and bad breath.
Bonus: Choose the right toothbrush for the job and change it often. You can also try soft-bristled and electronic toothbrushes that allow for gentle cleaning. Remember to switch out your toothbrush after three months. Your dentist can suggest a toothbrush that is best for you.
We hope these tips helped. Our Find Yello listings make it easy for you to find dentists, dental centres, or related services.
Sources: WHO, Colgate, Suri Dental Group, Healthline, Dental As Anything, and Southfield Family Dental.