Good Oral Health Practices lead to Good Overall Health
Dental Tips from your North York Dentist
Let’s face it, in our busy lives, it can be easy to overlook our health. There are often so many things we put before it: family, work, friends, and other commitments. Even when we decide eating healthy and exercising are what’s required to for our mental and physical well-being, we often forget one of the simplest ways to improve our health—and it’s in our mouths.
Looking after oral health is vital for maintaining optimum health. It’s not just what we put in our mouths (although that’s important too). It’s how we maintain our teeth and gums. Dr. Lily Lo, a family dentist in North York, is a firm believer in the connection of oral health with persons overall health.
A growing body of research shows good oral health is important to overall health. Periodontal, or gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and lung infections. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that, according to the Canadian Academy of Periodontology, doubles the risk for heart disease and fatal heart attack. Some studies link gum disease to diabetes as gum bacteria produces toxins that increase insulin resistance, since chronic mouth inflammation can channel bacteria into the bloodstream.
It’s a jarring fact that gum disease is the most common chronic inflammatory disease in the world. But the good news is, looking after your oral health and changing some habits, is an easy and effective way to counter periodontal disease, reduce your risk factors for chronic health conditions, and improve your overall health. Here’s some easy-to-implement practices that will help improve your oral health:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Some people find using electric tooth brushes makes it easy to spend two minutes brushing their teeth. There’s no need to brush hard. In fact, many dental professionals advise using softer brushes and more effective technique. The use of oral water flushing devices can also be beneficial.
- Visit your dentist in North York regularly for check-ups and hygiene appointments. Chances are, your dental hygienist already gives you a brush and floss at each appointment. They can also give you expert advice on proper brushing, more effective techniques for plaque removal, and suggestions for how to counter conditions that can exacerbate oral health issues, such as dry mouth.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. This one can be tough, but limiting sugars and sweets can help cut down on plaque. Less plaque means a reduced risk of cavities, gum disease, and coronary heart disease.
- Avoid or limit activities that increase your risk for periodontal disease and oral and other cancers, including smoking cigarettes and using recreational drugs.
- Stress is a risk factor for periodontal disease. Practices that mitigate stress, such as exercise, yoga, and mindfulness can help your oral and overall health.
- Teeth Grinding – if you are prone to grinding your teeth, wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth while sleeping. Always wear guards while playing contact sports.
When in doubt about any oral hygiene issue, from unexpected gum bleeding, to how oral piercings or prescription drugs might impact your teeth and gums, don’t hesitate to contact Lawrence Avenue Dental, your North York dentist. Your overall health could depend on it!
Dr. Lily Lo is a dentist that has been practicing in the North York community for over 20 years. She is very passionate about oral health and would love to help you maintain a lifetime of a healthy smile.