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Is an Unhealthy Lifestyle Affecting your Oral Health?

Posted April 18, 2019

Mary Jones

When was the last time you spared a minute to think about your oral health? It’s a weird question, isn’t it? Credit it to our upbringing or to our busy lifestyles, the maximum effort most of us put into our oral health is mere brushing in the morning. Thanks to bigger MNCs coming up with antiplaque mouthwashes, even skipping brushing is becoming more common. One might wonder, why is it important all of a sudden? The only botheration from poor dental hygiene, we believe to be the cavity. That’s only the start.  

Poor oral hygiene can lead to many serious health issues outside of just a mere cavity. To call a cavity mere would be an understatement. Patients who suffer from cavity issues can vouch for the amount of suffering it can cause. Poor oral hygiene can lead to Dementia, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory infections, and diabetes. These are only to name a few. Your oral health is known to be a true indicator of your overall health. Oral hygiene is often taken for granted. Issues like gum health, staining, and enamel weakening aren’t usually taken very seriously. Even though bleeding gums and mouth odor aren’t any less of an issue, there are much bigger problems at hand. 

How is overall health connected to your oral health? 

As you already know, like many parts of our body our mouths are the breeding grounds for bacteria. Our bodies are meant to have a certain number of bacteria for proper functioning. The real issue arises when the number of bacteria crosses the right amount and causes infection. At times, with medicine usage, the saliva dries up. In times like these, bacterial growth crosses the normal amount and can lead to serious ailments. There have been instances when oral infections lead to gum breakage. And these can aggravate cases of HIV/AIDS and diabetes as infections become more severe. 

Coming back to the initial question, will a poor lifestyle lead to poor oral health?

Yes, our lifestyles play a big role in oral health. If we are too focused on the mad rush of our daily lives, and our zeal towards striving to succeed, we will forget to prioritize our oral health. 

Here are 5 lifestyle habits that are hampering our oral health.

1. Smoking and drinking

These are both common habits that a lot of people have. Dental practitioners have always talked about how terribly smoking can be to the health of gums and enamel decay. It can also lead to serious cases of oral cancer and critical gum diseases. The smoke from cigars and cigarettes has a very toxic impact on the gum tissues. Smoking also causes teeth staining and can be a big contributor to mouth odor. 

Drinking can also have an indirect impact on your oral health. Drinking usually leaves you dehydrated, making your mouth prone to more bacterial action. The color in some drinks can lead to teeth staining, this can be avoided by using a straw. The acidity in your drinks can create permanent damage to your enamel over a period of time. 

2. Sudden changes in weight

With tabloids showcasing celebrities as they go through their weight journey, our society seems to be obsessed with weight, be it weight gain or weight loss. People who use dentures need to understand that weight loss can affect their gums. Obesity is directly proportional to poor oral health. It could be because of all the bad food habits the individual already has. Also, obesity eventually leads to inflammation. As we all know inflammation is what leads to gum problems. It can cause periodontal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and in some cases even cancer. 

3. Sugar consumption

Diets full of sugar are often filled with additives and artificial flavoring. Bacteria is the usual cause of tooth decay. The sugar in these dishes usually becomes food to them and they keep growing. These bacteria, otherwise called plague, stick to our teeth. They start secreting acids that gradually eat into the enamel destroying and weakening them. Our teeth are used to replacing the natural minerals and acids that are necessary. However, eating a lot of sugary items makes sure that these essential minerals aren’t replaced. 

4. Variety of medicinal consumption

We live a very fast lifestyle. When our body suffers from some problems or ailments, we don’t have the patience to let it heal by itself. In some cases, we actually don’t have the time or knowledge to do so either. In addition, some medicines create dryness in our mouths. As mentioned earlier, dryness can activate the bacteria, making things worse. It can lead to odor, gum problems, and tooth decay. Some other medicines create internal staining and some others create acid refluxes. 

5. Not drinking enough fluids or not staying hydrated

When we consume a lot of water, it dilutes the bacteria that accumulates after eating and drinking other items. This is when the acid created by these bacteria is washed. This avoids issues like mouth odor, gum problems, and cavity issues. It’s extremely important to keep yourself hydrated and also keep rinsing frequently throughout the day. 

5 Healthy oral care habits to inculcate in our lifestyle:

  1. Brush your teeth twice every day.
  2. Flossing will help you take out stray food items from within deep corners.
  3.  Eat more fibers and maintain a good gap between meals. And rinse your mouth after each meal. 
  4. Go check-up with a dentist at regular intervals.
  5. Keep yourself hydrated and avoid high sugar & tobacco intake. 

Our teeth, though such a small part of our body, play a big role in our lives. Let’s all make more of an effort into keeping our pearlies as white and healthy as possible. 

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