New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Smile
Most people in Glendale AZ make some type of New Year’s resolutions. Many involve improving health and /or appearance, such as vowing to exercise, lose weight or eat healthier foods. Getting and maintaining a healthy smile will improve both your health and your appearance.
Though your concern may be how the condition of your smile affects your appearance, oral health is associated with many health issues. You should pay extra attention to your oral health if you have a family history of heart disease or other heart disease risk factors. There have been numerous studies that show a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Other diseases and conditions that have been linked to periodontal disease include dementia, diabetes, premature birth and some autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Though doctors can’t say for certain what the link is between periodontal disease and other diseases, they hypothesize that inflammation is the culprit. Periodontal disease creates inflammation, possibly increasing body wide inflammation. Inflammation is an underlying problem in various diseases including diabetes, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Periodontal disease begins with plaque, which is the name for bacteria that builds up and hardens on your teeth. Plaque can then lead to tender, swollen, bleeding and inflamed gums. As gum disease progresses it destroys the underlying bone supporting the teeth causing teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. You should see your Glendale dentist regularly to catch problems before they have a chance to become serious.
Here are some resolutions for a healthy smile:
People who smoke get gum disease at three times the rate of nonsmokers. Additionally, when smokers receive treatment for gum disease they don’t heal as well as non-smokers.
Avoid drinking colas, even diet cola.
Colas and many other carbonated beverages contain acid that weakens tooth enamel and makes it softer. Colas also stain teeth. If you can’t give up cola, using a fluoride rinse may help strengthen enamel.
Keep your mouth moist.
Having a dry mouth prevents acids and bacteria from being washed away. If you suffer from dry mouth, there are special rinses that may help. In addition, chewing sugarless gum and drinking plenty of water can be helpful.
Be vigilant about oral hygiene.
Faithfulness in flossing is especially important. It is one of the strongest weapons we have against periodontal disease. Every day, carefully floss between all teeth. Contour the floss around the side of each tooth and slide it up and down against the tooth. Continue flossing each tooth with a clean section of floss. If flossing is uncomfortable or makes your gums bleed it means you haven’t been doing enough of it. Your gums will toughen up as they become accustomed to it.
Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a soft bristle brush. Most people don’t brush long enough; brush a minimum of two minutes, preferably three. You can also purchase an electric toothbrush with a built in timer. Don’t forget to brush your tongue!
Get regular dental exams and cleanings.
Regular cleanings help prevent plaque build up and tooth decay. Remember, plaque can lead to periodontal disease which can result in inflammation and tooth loss. Regular cleanings also give you whiter teeth.
During your dental exam your Glendale AZ dentist will look for signs of silent health problems such as osteoporosis or even oral cancer. Dental X-rays can uncover osteoporosis. Bone loss is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. If you do lose any teeth for any reason, try to replace them with implants. Glendale dental implants help to prevent bone loss that can leave your face looking sunken in.
If you are unhappy for any reason with the appearance of your smile, ask your Glendale dentist to discuss any cosmetic dental procedures you may be interested in.
At Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead we are devoted to helping you obtain a beautiful healthy smile. Our highly educated and well trained staff will develop the best course of treatment for all of your dental needs.
Dr. Greg Ceyhan – Dentist