As your Kansas City family dentist, we’ve talked before about how your oral health can have a significant impact on your overall health. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups aren’t just about keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy; these good oral health habits promote overall health, too.
Well, the door swings both ways: Your overall health can also have a substantial effect on the health of your teeth and gums. One of the best things that you can do to keep the whole system running smoothly is to eat a balanced, healthy diet. But that’s just a start. Ultimately, understanding certain dietary and lifestyle choices will help to prevent tooth loss, infection, and gum disease and let you live a healthier life overall!
Alcohol Consumption – It’s okay to have a drink every now and then, but drinking too much can be a risk factor for oral cancer. Regular consumption of alcohol is also a major cause of dry mouth, which increases your risk for gum disease.
Oral Piercings – Here’s the thing: It isn’t really the piercing itself that’s the problem. It’s the hardware you put in it. Anything you wear in a piercing in your lips, cheeks, or tongue can lead to chipped teeth and damage to the soft tissue of your cheek and gums. Even if you don’t notice it, these minor injuries can become infected and cause major problems.
Poor Hygiene – One of the best things you can do for your teeth—and for your health overall—is to brush and floss regularly. That word “regularly” is the key here. Good hygiene comes from good habits, and the key to good habits is consistency.
Tobacco Use – We know that smoking is bad for the health of our lungs, but in fact, using any kind of tobacco product, including smokeless tobacco, makes you more susceptible to gum disease and even oral cancers. Tobacco can also stain your teeth and lead to bad breath.
Vaping – We’re still discovering all of the health risks associated with vaping, but studies have shown that it increases the risk of gum disease by causing dry mouth, inflammation of the gums, and an increase in oral bacteria. Here’s another thing: Vaping puts a variety of chemicals into your body. We all know about nicotine and the problems it can cause. Many other chemicals found in vaping products are known carcinogens or have been linked to other health concerns such as an increased risk of heart disease.
Too Much Sugar or Soda – As with alcohol, a little may be okay. The more you manage to avoid sugary food and drinks, however, the better off your teeth and gums will be. Sugar is the food of choice for the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Plus, many sugary snacks and drinks are also acidic, which can erode the protective enamel of your teeth. Even if you think you’ve cut down, check labels. Sugar can be hiding in some unexpected places.
For more tips on how to maintain good health habits and get your best night’s sleep, or to schedule an appointment today, just contact Blacker Family Dental and sleep specialist in Kansas City, MO at (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment.