How well you care for your teeth and gums can have a powerful effect on your overall health. Poor oral health has been linked to a variety of health complications, many of which are more serious than bad breath and sore gums. But by changing certain habits, you can improve the health of your mouth and teeth and lessen your risk for more serious problems.
The Role of Diet and Lifestyle in Oral Health
A number of dietary habits and lifestyle factors can affect oral health, including:
• Sugar consumption: Having a sugar-laden diet will contribute to tooth decay and gum problems, as bacteria in the mouth thrives in this environment, producing tooth and gum-destroying enzymes and acids.
• Smoking: Smoking cigarettes and cigars and using tobacco products can cause periodontal disease (gum disease), tooth decay and oral cancer. Cigars can also cause periodontal disease and throat, or pharyngeal, cancer. The smoke from tobacco has a toxic effect on gum tissue, and can interfere with blood flow.
• Drinking alcohol. Drinking can contribute to oral problems indirectly by resulting in a dehydrated mouth, which can allow bacteria to grow. In addition, people who have alcohol addiction issues are less likely to consistently follow good dental care habits.
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
To maintain your oral health—and overall good health—it’s crucial to see your dentist regularly. You should also practice good oral hygiene at home by carefully brushing and flossing your teeth regularly in order to prevent plaque from accumulating and causing problems.
Remember, there is nothing a dentist can do that a patient can’t undo by neglecting their dental care. As always, if you have any questions or concerns be sure to contact our office.