According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 2 adults over the age of 30 are suffering from gum disease.
Brush Up Your Knowledge on Healthy Teeth
Oral health is an important part of your overall health. The mouth is packed with harmless bacteria that is kept under control by natural body defences and proper oral hygiene such as daily brushing and flossing. Poor oral hygiene can lead to oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease that affects children today. Untreated cavities can cause discomfort, infection, and poor self-image.
- Periodontal (gum) disease
Gum disease is caused by bacteria (plaque) that infects gum tissue supporting teeth. Red, swollen gums and gums that bleed easily are signs of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.
Additional gum disease warning signs may include:
- Gums that have pulled away from teeth
- On-going bad breath
- Permanent teeth that become loose or separated
Healthy Teeth, Healthy Smiles
Though most oral diseases are preventable, according to the American Dental Association, 181 million Americans did not visit a dentist in 2010. Tooth decay and gum disease can affect the rest of your body and contribute to diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Protect your teeth with these tips to maintain good oral health:
- Brush teeth at least two times per day.
Brushing twice a day helps to reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis. Brush properly by using a soft bristle toothbrush. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle—use short motions and gently brush back and forth. Make sure to brush the tongue and the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of the teeth. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
Use floss to clear food particles and plaque from between your teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. Plaque that turns into calculus or tartar can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
Fluoride is a mineral that protects teeth against tooth decay and strengthens teeth enamel.
- Have regular dental check-ups.
Visit your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and oral exam. Doing this can help detect early forms of gum disease or tooth decay. Most often, dentists can reverse the problem if caught early enough.
Eat a well-balanced diet; limit acidic foods such as and those that contain a lot of sugar or starches.
- Limit alcohol use and any kind of tobacco use.
According to the American Cancer Society, alcohol and tobacco use increases the risk of developing gum disease and oral cancer in the mouth, throat, voice box, and oesophagus. Excessive alcohol use increases exposure to sugars and acids within the drink. Drinking and tobacco use combined together raises oral health risks even more.
Source: www.cdc.gov and www.ada.org