A healthy lifestyle will lead to healthy habits which in turn will lead to healthy teeth and gums and a longer life expectancy.
What is a healthy lifestyle?
- Diet including drinking plenty of water, eating low sugar foods, and low alcohol intake.
- No smoking
- Sufficient sleep ( 8 hours)
- Reduce stress
Food debris (especially from foods high in sugar) combine with Gram-negative, anaerobic bacteria (that always exist in our mouth) to form plaque. Plaque if not removed by brushing, flossing and dental cleanings will form calculus (tartar). Calculus will lead to gingivitis which can easily progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis is also known as gum disease. It is a set of inflammatory conditions caused by bacteria that can lead to infection. Infection can lead to an abscess that can progress to cellulitis that can become sepsis which is life-threatening. Additionally, the inflammation and infection from periodontitis can affect many organ systems and disease processes.
Signs of Gum Disease
- Tender, red, swollen, and bleeding gums
- Sensitive teeth while chewing
- Receding gums and bone leading to loose teeth
- Chronic bad breath
Systemic Effects of Gum Disease
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Alzheimer’s Disease (dementia)
What is Proper Oral Care?
- Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes
- Using a small-headed soft bristle brush
- Flossing once a day, every day before going to sleep
- Using a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste
- Using an alcohol-free fluoride toothpaste
- Eliminating refined carbohydrates as much as possible
- Wearing occlusal guard if grinding or playing contact sports
- Visiting 172 NYC Dental for twice a year checkups and cleanings
Benefits of Good Oral Care
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oral bacteria are found in the plaque in coronary arteries, this is called atherosclerosis. This clogging of the arteries cause heart attacks and strokes
- Protect brain cells-oral bacteria have been found in the plaque (amyloid) of patients with Alzheimer Disease
- Fewer Diabetes Complications-oral bacteria interfere with our ability to manage blood sugar levels. It’s been demonstrated that people with advanced periodontitis do indeed have higher blood sugar levels.
- Lower risk of developing kidney disease-oral bacteria increases the risk of chronic kidney disease
- Less joint inflammation-oral bacteria increase inflammation throughout the body
- Better respiratory health-Mouth bacteria go straight to the lungs
- Decrease risk of cancer especially cancer of the blood
- Improved fertility, healthier babies-gum disease can lead to premature births and lower birth weights for babies
- Improved sexual performance-oral bacteria that cause inflammation with cause constriction of blood vessels causing poor blood flow to genitals, with problems such as erectile dysfunction
Make an Appointment with 172 NYC Dental
At 172 NYC Dental, we treat people not only their teeth. We are doctors that specialize in treating problems of the mouth. Your mouth can be a gateway to disease and also a barometer of good health. Please come in and let us make a healthier you.