Why Oral Hygiene is Important For Your Overall Health

August 30th, 2017

Why Oral Hygiene is Important For Your Overall Health

8/30/2017

by Miranda Murray


Brushing our teeth is one of the first things we learn when we learn to take care of ourselves.  We know we should brush our teeth twice a day and floss – but who really flosses like they’re supposed to?  Poor oral hygiene may be the cause of bigger health issues and some may even surprise you.

Health Problems Caused by Poor Oral Hygiene

A lack of regular brushing and flossing can leave small food particles wedged between your teeth that collect bacteria and emit chemicals, like hydrogen sulfide.  You know the smell of rotten eggs?  That’s the work of hydrogen sulfide.  This condition is called Halitosis but you may know it by the term “chronic bad breath.”  Left untreated, it could lead to mouth, nose, and throat infections!

Periodontal disease is a term we will see a lot in this article – it’s essentially gum disease.  Think it’s normal for your gums to bleed when your floss or brush?  It’s not.  In it’s early stages, periodontal disease is referred to as gingivitis, but if it’s left untreated, one can experience a large amount of problems – the first one being tooth extraction.  25% of adults in the US over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth due to this.

 

As a result of periodontal bacteria and plaque entering the bloodstream through your gums, people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease and arterial narrowing.  One study shows that the presence of gum disease, cavities and missing teeth are as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels!  High levels of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth can also lead to Atherosclerosis (clogging of the Cartoid Artery and increased risk of stroke.)  What’s more, this bacteria can travel through the blood steam to the lungs where it can aggravate respiratory systems, even more so in those who already experience respiratory problems.

Diabetes is an increasing concern in the US.  It can effect your eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart, to name a few.  But it doesn’t stop there.  95% of adults in the US with diabetes also have periodontal disease.  Yes, ninety five percent. This all is linked to diabetic control.  In patients whose diabetes is well controlled, they have no more periodontal disease than persons without diabetes.  In turn, however, people with poor blood sugar control are apt to get gum disease more often and more severely.

As we’ve already learned, harmful bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream (or even be ingested when you eat or drink again.)  This can inflame blood vessels and block blood flow…to the genitals.  Men with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men with good dental hygiene.  Chronic inflammation caused by gum disease may damage your endothelial cells, which form the lining on all of your blood vessels – including those in the penis.

Proper Oral Hygiene Techniques

You’re going to need to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, at least twice a day!  Pay extra attention to the gum line, hard to reach teeth, and areas around fillings or crowns.  Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too – lots of bacteria reside on that thing!  It’s recommended to use a toothpaste that tailors to your specific oral hygiene needs.  For me, I need to use a toothpaste to protect against my sensitivity – ’cause I’m a sensitive woman ?.  To find the right kind of paste for you, check out this page.  And do not forget to floss…like, ever.  We need to make sure we’re getting rid of all particles between our teeth!  To properly floss in between your teeth, my dentist recommends using an up and down “sawing motion,” floss all the way up and down the length of your teeth.  And let’s not share toothbrushes with other people, k?  What about mouthwash – is it really necessary?  With proper brushing and flossing, mouthwash is not a necessity.  It is only effective on the surface of your teeth; if you already have plaque or bacteria buildup, mouthwash won’t help you.

Looking to get every last drop out of that toothpaste tube?  We’ve got something for that!  Our EZ sqeeze toothpaste tube winder will reduce waste.

So, before you skip a brushing session or decide not to floss, you might want to think again!  Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for an exam and professional cleaning.  Not only will your body thank you, but your smile will be dazzling!

-Miranda

*I am not a doctor, nutritionist or scientist but I have spent years soaking up information I’ve gathered through various websites, by attending numerous informational meetings and working with nutritionists and fitness trainers.

Sources: Allwomenstalk, Colgate

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