Not many people are aware of the fact that their oral health says a lot about their overall health. Oral problems sometimes may be a sign that you have a lot more to worry about other than bad breath, cavities or gum disease. Research indicates that there is a connection between gum disease and various serious health conditions such as stroke and heart disease. When gum disease is left untreated, it can trigger a condition known as periodontitis. The following are the most typical dental problems and how you can avoid them.
Research indicates that up to 30% of people are normally predisposed to gum disease. This type of oral problem reflects mild to moderate inflammation of the gums and manifests through various symptoms including tenderness of the gums, swelling of the gums, recurring mouth sores, bleeding gums, pain when chewing, oversensitive or loose teeth and bad breath. There are a number of ways in which you can prevent yourself from getting gum disease, such as:
- Maintaining good oral hygiene, i.e. brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing gently
- Quitting smoking and stopping alcohol use.
- Rinsing your mouth daily with an antiseptic mouthwash.
- Getting a professional dental cleaning at least twice a year.
Tooth Decay (Cavities)
Research also shows that tooth decay is the second most prevalent ailment after common cold. The two common causes of tooth decay are smoking and over consumption of sugary foods and drinks. You can prevent tooth decay by:
- Avoiding the use of tobacco products.
- Reducing consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
- Maintaining oral hygiene.
- Using sealants and fluoride treatments if you're prone to cavities.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
Research also show that over 15% of adults experience some form of chronic facial pain, such as headache, neck ache, jaw popping and jaw tenderness. Jaw clenching or grinding is the most common cause of temporomandibular joint disorder. Other causes of TMJ disorder are jaw joint or trauma to the head or arthritis of the jaw joint. This disorder can be prevented by using a custom mouth guard or splint to minimize the pressure on your jaw or teeth. You can also apply a warm, wet washcloth to the jaw to relax the muscles.
These are the simple steps that can help you to not only maintain optimal oral hygiene, but your overall health also. Maintain oral hygiene, quit smoking, avoid sugary foods and drinks and visit your dentist at least twice a year, and your oral health will always be at its best.