JODY HOLTON — Focus on good dental health
Posted at 12:03 a.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2022
Healthy living encompasses many areas: mind, body and spirit.
Today we talk about oral health. I know, just talking about going to the dentist scares a lot of people.
Did you know that researchers know there is a common relationship between oral health and overall well-being?
Gum disease is linked to a multitude of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dentists found that people with gum disease were twice as likely as others to die of a heart attack and three times more likely to have a stroke. Some studies indicate a reciprocal relationship between gum disease and diabetes.
When you treat and control diabetes, the condition of the mouth improves immediately. And when you treat periodontal disease, the need for insulin is reduced.
Good dental or oral care is important for maintaining healthy teeth, gums and tongue. Oral problems including bad breath, dry mouth, cankers or cold sores, TMJ/TMJ, tooth decay or thrush can be treated with proper diagnosis and care.
Brushing, flossing and rinsing are the ABCs of oral health, but that’s just the beginning. A wonderful mouth takes more than squeezing paste from a tube – consider improving your toothbrushing technique, ditching the daily habit of soda, sugary treats and saying goodbye to tobacco.
If you’re inclined to ditch the dentist, you’re one of the roughly 50% of adults in the United States who don’t see a dentist each year due to dental phobia, finances, or just plain neglect.
But spend quality time with your dentist (twice a year, advises the American Dental Association), and you’ll catch problems like cavities, gum disease, trauma, or cancer at an early stage when they do. are treatable, not to mention more affordable to maintain.
Toddlers and older adults tend to fly under the dental health radar, but they need oral care just like the rest of us. Children should see a dentist before the age of 1 and they will need help cleaning their teeth.
Older people have their own oral problems. Arthritis can make brushing and flossing difficult, and as people age the amount of saliva they produce decreases, which means more tooth decay and also discomfort for those who wear dentures.
There are great over-the-counter products to combat dry mouth.
While you probably know you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, if you’re like most people, you don’t give much thought to how to do it. Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, pointed at the gumline, and use gentle, short circular strokes.
Brush each tooth 10-15 times, but don’t overdo it. Brushing too aggressively can damage teeth and erode the gum line. And despite what you may have heard about flossing, do it.
It’s simple: flossing promotes healthier teeth and gums. There’s nothing fabulous about having something stuck between your teeth that’s ruining your bright, beautiful smile.
So. A healthy body means everything from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, including those 32 pearly whites in your mouth. So be careful what you put in your mouth, brush and floss.
Stay healthy my friends.
Jody Holton writes about health for Port Arthur Newsmedia. She can be contacted at [email protected]