June is Men’s Health Month, which means now is a great time to talk about oral health. Since the health of your mouth can affect the rest of your body, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene habits. Let’s look at how oral health and overall health are related, and how you can prevent problems in both. It may be Men’s Health Month in Lovell, but no matter your gender, you can benefit from having great oral health.
How Is Oral Health Connected to Overall Health?
Not brushing or flossing regularly puts you at risk for a lot more than cavities. When you let your oral healthcare routine slide, bacteria can build up in between your teeth and along your gumline. They can eat away at your tooth enamel and cause decay. They can also cause gum disease, a painful condition where bacteria caused your gums to become inflamed, red, and irritated. If left untreated, gum disease can cause your teeth to become loose and fall out. In addition, the bacteria can travel throughout your bloodstream to your heart and lungs, increasing your risk for cardiovascular or respiratory disease.
What Are Some Oral Health Issues That Shouldn’t Be Ignored?
If you are experiencing any of these problems, see your dentist as soon as you can:
- Jaw pain. This can be a sign of TMJ or rheumatoid arthritis. Both of which should be treated by your dentist near Cody immediately.
- Dry mouth. Inadequate supply of saliva in the mouth can lead to tooth decay. Drink plenty of water to offset this condition. However, if your mouth is still dry even after increasing your water intake, contact your doctor. It could be a sign of another disease such as diabetes or Parkinson’s.
- Sensitive teeth. When your enamel, or the outside layer of your tooth, wears away, it leaves the sensitive dentin layer underneath susceptible to pain from extreme hot and cold temperatures and sugary foods. Sensitive teeth can also be a sign that the inside of the tooth is infected. Your dentist may recommend root canal therapy to relieve the pain.
- Gum discoloration. If your gums are any color but pink, your dentist should know. A change in gum color could be a sign of gum disease or even oral cancer.
How Can I Keep My Oral Health in Good Shape?
Practice good oral hygiene habits like these to protect your oral and overall health:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss once a day.
- Limit tobacco and alcohol use.
- Drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to stimulate the flow of saliva.
- Visit your dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleanings.
Celebrate Men’s Health Month in style by being proactive about your oral hygiene. Taking care of your whole body starts with taking care of your mouth. Ask your dentist for more advice about how to maintain a healthy mouth.
About the Author
Dr. Lance Anderson earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Louisville in 2012. Two years later he opened his own practice in Lovell. He has attended several continuing education courses, including training in dental implants and bone grafting at the White Cap Institute. He enjoys being able to make a positive change in people’s lives by helping them smile happily and healthily. To learn more about how he can help you maintain good oral health, visit his website or call him at (307)-548-7654.