Great oral health requires vigilant care: daily brushing with a fluoridated tooth paste, flossing to remove debris your toothbrush did not reach and visits with the dentist every six months for cleaning and a dental exam. Skip any of these steps and you are putting healthy teeth and gums at risk.
Maintaining good dental health starts in infancy. Of course, you must rely on your caregivers in the early years. As you age, you will learn how neglecting your oral health impacts more than just your smile (although that is important for self-confidence and emotional well-being).
Things that can contribute to poor overall health include: tobacco use in any form, overuse of sugary snacks and beverages, neglect, illicit drugs and excessive alcohol consumption, dehydration, sleep/rest deprivation and lack of sufficient body movement.
Possible negative results to poor oral health include:
Cavities – Decay prevention is possible. Your dentist can offer dental sealants to teeth unaffected by decay that can protect the chewing surfaces where decay often begins. Fluoride treatments are available to strengthen dental enamel.
Gingivitis – This is the early stage of gum disease. Symptoms include bleeding or swollen gum tissue, chronic bad breath, one or more teeth feeling loose, or teeth appearing to separate from the gums. If not treated, this condition can progress to periodontitis with the possible result of tooth loss. Early intervention is important.
Lost teeth – An accident or traumatic event can mean losing one or more teeth. But if that should occur, replacing those teeth with some type of dental prosthesis is important. Tooth loss should never be considered a natural part of the aging process. Speech patterns, appearance, and the ability to eat the foods you love are jeopardized when teeth are missing.
Crooked teeth – We aren’t all blessed with straight teeth, but crooked teeth affect more than appearance. Failure to correct a malocclusion can leave many areas susceptible to decay and/or gum disease due to the inability to keep plaque build-up controlled.
Overall good health – Scientific research continues to point out the correlations between heart health/diseases of the immune system and the condition of our oral health. Neglect and lifestyle play a huge role here.
Great oral health requires regular daily care but the rewards are certainly worth it. Contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan today to get more tips!