Happy 2018! New Year’s resolutions are not as popular as they once were, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make changes to your everyday life. Now is always the right time! Did you know oral health affects your overall health? It’s important to brush and floss daily along with dental check-ups every 6 months. Poor oral habits can lead to gum disease because your mouth is swarming with bacteria. And gum disease is linked to heart diseases, diabetes, and pregnancy. Oral health is connected to your total health.
Are you wondering how your oral health relates to your heart? Everyday brushing and flossing manages the bacteria levels in your mouth. Without daily cleaning, bacteria is free to flow into your bloodstream and can travel to your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that distribute oxygen from your heart to your body. This can lead to atherosclerosis where plaque builds up on the inner layers of your arteries. This can cause clots that can block blood flow through your body. Increasing the likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Source: American Heart Association
Did you know you are 3 to 4 times more likely to have gum disease after being diagnosed with diabetes? Diabetes affects how your body processes sugar and leaving you at a higher risk for gum disease. It can also make your blood sugar level constantly increase. Meaning your body has a harder time fighting the bacteria attacking your gums. People receiving gum disease treatment along with antibiotics showed improvements with their blood sugar levels. Be sure to keep us updated on your health history and medication lists.
Source: American Diabetes Association
Pregnancy is no excuse to slack on your oral care. Hormone levels are uncontrollable it can cause your gums to bleed, swell, and absorb food. This leads to pregnancy gingivitis. Another thing to look out for is pregnancy tumors. While harmless, they start to appear during your second trimester between your teeth. If you begin to feel pain or irritation your dentist can have them removed. Most of the time they disappear after your child is born.
A common side effect of pregnancy is morning sickness which can be alarming for your teeth. The acid from your stomach can lead to tooth decay. We recommended gargling with baking soda and water after an episode of morning sickness before brushing your teeth. Dental appointments and procedures are encouraged during pregnancy to help prevent gum disease. It is optimal to have dental work done during your second trimester because the developments of your fetal organs are complete and the risks of side effects are lower. Once you are in the third trimester it may be harder for you to lay on your back for a long period of time.
Source: American Pregnancy Association
Living a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming but remember to make small strides daily. Here are five healthy habits for a happy life.
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Floss once a day
- Preventive health care screening, at least once every six months
- Smile and Laugh
- Physical Activity
- Adequate sleep
Dr. Frederic J. Norkin
South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry