A healthy diet that includes exercise for at least 30 minutes every day is important, we all have heard that about a million times. But do you know that your mouth, especially your breath, can act as an early warning system for you about your health, in general? Bad breath can be a sign of poor health in the rest of your body.
Regular dental health checkups are important but may be difficult for some people due to cost or just finding a local dentist. It is recommended to have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year to remove tartar, a byproduct of the bacteria and proteins in your mouth that mixes together with the food particles. This sticky mixture sits on your teeth creating dental plaque. This plaque hardens against the surfaces of your teeth and left untreated moves below the gum line where infections can occur and it may turn into gum disease, also known as gingivitis.
In the elderly population, many medications have side effects which can contribute to dental disease. Other common reasons for poor dental hygiene include loss of strength, coordination, and dementia. As my friend, a dental hygienist recommends, if able, chewing sugar free gum may offer a solution to this problem. The action of chewing gum, along with the saliva and chemicals in the gum, help to dissolve the extra sugars that sit on the teeth that cause tooth decay. She believes that it is easier and cheaper to add sugar-free gum, in a situation that is appropriate, when proper brushing is not available. Other situations where a visit to the dentist might not happen as often or at all, for example, are in nursing homes or other non-traditional housing. Whatever your habits are here is a few things to think about when it comes to your mouth and your health.
1) Sugary foods and beverages-the combinations of foods and frequency count when trying to keep your teeth healthy.
2) Brushing your teeth in the morning and before going to bed help remove sticky sweet foods that sit on your teeth
3) Snacking frequently of unhealthy, sugary treats without frequent tooth brushing, not only is poor nutrition, but offers constant fuel to feed the bacteria which leads to tooth decay
4) Brushing teeth and using dental floss are easy habits to learn to keep yourself healthy especially for children as well as adults
5) Drink water over sugary drinks and juices, buy sugar free or unsweetened food items and remember to eat good sources of calcium such as milk, broccoli and yogurt