We all know the basics of good oral health — brush and floss daily, and don't forget your regular dental check-ups.
But, did you know that there's more to keeping your teeth and gums in good shape? Here are a few things you might not know about your oral health …
- Saliva is a natural disinfectant
When you eat and drink, bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars, forming plaque that sticks to the surface of the teeth. Plaque then produces acids that, if left on the teeth, can cause serious damage to the enamel and the layers below. Saliva helps to neutralise acid in the mouth, and is also helpful in cleaning the mouth, as it rinses away food particles and lubricates the tissues in the mouth.If you have a dry mouth, it can be helpful to keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day so you can sip on it often. You can also chew on sugar-free gum, as it stimulates the production of saliva, helping to protect your teeth and gums in between meals.
- Constant snacking could be an issue
We all know that eating too much sugar is unhealthy, but it's also important to remember that every time you take a bite or sip of something that contains a carbohydrate, acid is produced in the mouth. So, it doesn't only matter how much you eat, but also how often. So, if you tend to snack throughout the day, you may want to reconsider your eating habits. If your teeth are constantly exposed to sugars, there is a greater risk of demineralisation, which can lead to tooth decay over time.If you do need to snack, try and opt for foods that promote oral health. Cheese tends to raise the pH levels in the mouth, lowering the risk of tooth decay, while natural, sugar-free yoghurt is a good source of calcium and protein. Apples and carrots are high in fibre and tend to boost saliva production because they require so much chewing.
- Your oral health affects your overall wellbeing
More and more studies have revealed the link between oral health and overall health in recent years. In fact, gum disease has been associated with a number of serious health issues, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The bacteria and inflammation associated with gum disease can affect other parts of the body, which means that it is essential to maintain proper dental habits.One of the major areas of focus at our practice is the link between diabetes and oral health. Research has actually shown that the prevalence of diabetes in Australia is on the rise, with one study suggesting that it has doubled since 1981. If you suffer from gum disease, we highly recommend that you follow a treatment plan to manage the condition, for the sake of your overall and long-term health.
- Gum disease can't be cured
Unfortunately there is no way to reverse the effects of gum disease, and because the disease is often painless in the early stages, it is often diagnosed too late. The good news, however, is that the condition can be managed. We are able to perform a procedure in which the bacteria, plaque and hard scale on your teeth are removed both above and below the gum margin. We are also happy to develop an appropriate home-care regimen for you so that you can keep your gums healthy and ensure that the disease does not worsen over time.One of the best things you can do for your oral health is to prevent gum disease from developing. To do this, we recommend that you practice good oral hygiene habits at home, and that you come in and see us on a regular basis. This will allow us to examine your teeth and deal with any early signs of the disease before they become serious.
If you have any questions about your oral health, or would like to make an appointment for a consultation, please get in touch with us.