The phrase “oral hygiene” can be a confusing one, but the concept is actually quite simple. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the practice of keeping teeth plaque and decay free while upholding the integrity of other mouth structures. It is action taken to ward off infection and disease, in other words, and helps guarantee that your dental health is on the right track. Still, many might be wondering why oral hygiene is so important to overall health. There is no single answer to the question because healthy teeth and a healthy mouth are tied to many different important aspects of life.
Overall Health and Oral Hygiene
Your mouth is the entry point for food and other substances to feed into your digestive track. That means that everything passes through the mouth and might very well carry some of it along with them in the forms of saliva or tissue. This generally is not a problem and many people never spare a second thought to this fact. If your oral hygiene is poor and the bacteria that thrives in your mouth is allowed to grow unabated, however, it has the potential to infect the rest of your body. The same things that make your mouth and throat so essential can quickly become major health problems when mouths and tongues are not regularly cleaned.
Understanding the mechanisms that allow oral health to damage your overall health can help you understand the importance of making your regular checkups. In fact, that relationship is much stronger than many realize. A number of serious diseases have been tied to poor oral health, including things like endocarditis, birth complications, pregnancy complications, cardiovascular disease, and pneumonia. Between the inflammation your mouth experiences when too much bacteria are present to the distribution of the bacteria itself, oral hygiene can be surprisingly detrimental if left neglected.
Diet and Dental Health
As described above, oral health can negatively impact your body in a variety of ways. Perhaps one of the most insidious, however, is through your diet. When your teeth or mouth hurt, you are less likely to spend time planning a balanced diet. It might even be impossible to some of the things you love without experiencing pain, an experience that can leave many disillusioned with their diets and searching for something easy. Some of the easiest and most readily available foods on the market are heavily processed and bad for you, sometimes leading to obesity and related diseases.
Common Dental Risks
It can sometimes be difficult to recognize risk factors that could compromise dental health, particularly when they don’t impact brushing your teeth and flossing. It is important to understand that good oral health is not the result of brushing your teeth alone, but rather is something that is impacted by a number of different things.
Saliva neutralizes acids that help bacteria in the mouth thrive while washing food away to keep your teeth from prolonged exposure to debris or remnants that could cause them trouble. When your saliva flow is inhibited, your risk of dental issues rises significantly. One of the most common reasons for compromised saliva flow is one that might be surprising: medication. Certain types of medication can cause you to have a dry mouth, including those listed below:
Pay attention to the state of your mouth and take note if it becomes dry. If this happens regularly, you might be taking a medication that is hindering good oral health.
Too Few Oral Exams
It is not enough to visit a dentist when you have a toothache or other issue. Dental exams should be conducted at least twice a year to keep an eye on your mouth and catch any problems as they are forming rather than once they’ve already taken hold. Seeing a dentist might not sound like a good time, particularly for patients who experience anxiety related to dental visits. Consider doing some research and finding an office that is experienced with anxious patients. Call ahead and explain the situation and ask what they can do to help you feel as comfortable as possible.
To keep your mouth healthy and free of infection, especially when it comes to warding off serious diseases like oral cancer, oral exams are absolutely essential. They don’t generally take very long to complete and the experience will likely be much more positive than you imagine.
Sometimes the most serious risk factors can come from something that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with your mouth or teeth. Stress is an issue that affects nearly every part of your mind and body, and dental health is no exception. Patients experiencing stress are more likely to eat comfort food that is often high in sugar – and sugar is linked to increased bacterial activity in your mouth that can break down the enamel of your teeth. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding, often while asleep, are also commonly tied to stress. Either of the two issues can lead to tooth and jaw damage that compromises the structural integrity of the mouth, including teeth.
The above risk factors are not the only to keep in mind, however they are some of the most common that patients experience. Be especially vigilant and purposeful with oral hygiene routines if you meet any of the risk factors above and pay close attention to the condition of your mouth and your teeth. A dental professional can often help patients understand the dental problems they might be facing as well as the best oral care practices they can follow moving forward. Looking for Supplements to maintain your Oral Health ?
Oraltide-Pro is a mouthwash containing DPR (Dental Bond Peptide) and AGDP (Anti-gingival Degenerate Peptide). Benefits of using a peptide based mouthwash:
- Promotes healing of inflamed gums
- Speeds healing of mouth & tongue
- Prevents gingivitis and periodontal disease
- Helps with enamel remineralization
- Reduces bacterial growth and decalcification