Proper care of your teeth, mouth and gums is a life-long commitment. Good habits formed in younger years will make brushing, flossing and regular visits to your dentist a natural part of your schedule.
However, even if you did not have good dental health habits in younger years, it is never too late to start. Thanks to modern dental technology, treating even severe dental problems is easier, quicker and less uncomfortable than in the past.
Severe dental problems, such as cavities, gum disease and other conditions, may lead to the loss of teeth and a diminished quality of life. In addition, the links between good dental health and good overall health make taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums a must for a healthy lifestyle.
In addition to practicing good dental hygiene and regular visits to your dental health professional, there are steps you can take as an adult to improve your dental and overall health. These include:
Avoiding or stopping tobacco use - Tobacco is the single biggest preventable health risk to adults. Not only is tobacco linked to cancer, heart disease, respiration problems and a host of other health concerns, it is also a major contributor to problems with the mouth, teeth and gums. Tobacco use may cause the gums to pull away from the teeth exposing roots and may lead to gum disease, oral cancer and other issues.
Promptly treating gum disease - Your best defense against gum disease (periodontitis) is a commitment to good dental health, including brushing and flossing along with regular visits to the dentist. If your dentist discovers gum disease, have it treated promptly to avoid complications. Complications of gum disease include possible loss of teeth and the potential of other health problems, such as heart disease and problems treating diabetes.
Treat other complicating diseases and conditions - Other health conditions such as diabetes and certain medications can increase your chances of developing gum disease and gum disease can aggravate other health problems. The lesson is that good oral health and overall health are linked.
Gum disease may have other contributing causes and your dentist can discuss these with you when appropriate.
Regular visits to your dental professionals for examinations and cleanings will help you achieve and maintain good oral health. Good oral health and overall health go hand-in-hand. You will look better and feel better.