Take Care of Your Mouth!
Posted: July 22, 2009
The best way to take care of your mouth bones is by maintaining good diet, fitness, and oral health habits. However, there may be more to it than that. The Academy of General Dentistry says that more than 90% of all systemic diseases show up orally.
Dentists can be the first to point out a problem. Poor nutrition can lead to various diseases as well as poor oral health. By practicing good fitness and healthy eating, you can avoid cavities, periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Another problem that can be easily corrected is bruxism, better known as teeth grinding.
According to studies, an estimated 80-90% of the population grinds their teeth to a certain degree. stress causes the majority of these people to grind their teeth; however, it can result in the teeth wearing down and chipping. It could also cause sleep deprivation, headaches and jaw problems. What are some solutions to this problem?
1) Stop chewing gum 2) Exercise (i.e. take a hike) 3) Stop drinking beverages with caffeine (caffeine causes anxiety)
Someone who grinds their teeth may eventually need dental repair. If you hear popping noises coming from your jaw while eating, that may be a sign of jaw joint problems resulting from bruxism. Also, be careful of clenching your jaw.
Stress and Oral Care
Some people are so used to stress that they do not notice when it is happening. Emotional stress can cause oral health problems including: canker sores, dry mouth, lichen planus (lacy white lines, mouth sores, or red areas), burning mouth syndrome, and temporomandibular (jaw) joint disorders.
With stress, you are more likely to get cavities, gum (periodontal) disease, and bruxism. If you feel that may be under a high amount of stress, try to be more vigilant than ever with your oral care.
If you do not brush food debris, sugars, and acids on your teeth, they can erode your tooth enamel and cause decay. Plaque, an invisible bacterial film, can build up, harden, and turn into tartar (which can only be removed by a dentist/hygienist). Eventually, this can cause tooth loss and periodontitis.
- Brush your teeth 2-3X a day and/or after every meal
- Use the right toothbrush (soft with rounded bristles, long enough to reach the back teeth)
- Change your toothbrush every 3 months or less
- Floss everyday
- Eat healthier foods/snacks
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45 angle against your gums
- Don't miss any spots (start from one end and go to the other)
- On the outer/inner surfaces, vibrate the brush inhalf-tooth-wide strokes towards the gumline instead of scrubbing
- Clean your molars with a back-and-forth motion
- On the inside of your front teeth, hold the brush vertically with up-and-down strokes
- A complete brushing takes about 3 minutes!