The answer is a definite yes. Good nutrition contributes greatly to healthy teeth, gums, nervous system, and bones. By contrast, poor nutrition leads to poor dental health, lack of energy, poor self-esteem, and that relationship killer, bad breath. Your gums need proper nutrition to remain healthy and be less prone to gum disease. Poor nutrition can lead to decreased saliva flow, and that can cause extensive cavities and bad breath. Loading the mouth with a constant supply of sugars and starches allows the bacteria in the mouth to grow quickly and increase the risk of decay and gum disease. Soda is also very damaging. Not only does the sugar in soda help cause decay, but also the acids in the soda can dissolve your tooth enamel.
So what’s the solution? Eat nutritious foods, and eat mostly at mealtimes, brushing immediately afterwards. If you must snack, choose raw, low-sugar fruits, raw veggies, nuts, boiled eggs, herbal teas and fluoridated water. Drink up to 10 glasses of clean water per day. With consistency, evidence shows that you’ll not only please your teeth, but you’ll revitalize your entire metabolism, improving body weight, physical endurance, mental alertness, and well-being.
Your oral health affects your general health
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense: poor oral health is linked to poor physical health. How so? Well, consider the big picture: your mouth is the gateway into the rest of the body and its systems. If the mouth has a chronic infection or disease, then your entire body may be indirectly or directly exposed to those bacteria. Not to mention your ability to eat is compromised and also your nutrition. Furthermore, the resources needed for your general health to function will be diverted to handle the chronic infection, weakening the overall natural protection your other systems typically enjoy.
Research documents the connection between gum disease and poor heart health, resulting in increased risk of stroke, diabetes, problem pregnancies, and pancreatic cancer. Some studies indicate that those who lose all their natural teeth may have a much shorter lifespan.
So what’s the answer? If you want to up your odds of a happy, healthy life, treat your body with respect and put your money (and effort) where your mouth is. Try starting with the basics: learn the latest tips, techniques and tools for top-notch oral hygiene, when you are here for you next cleaning appointment. Then, branch out: incorporate a healthy diet, exercise, fresh air, and regular rest. Eliminate unhealthy habits that are counterproductive. And remember, taking care of your teeth means better well-being, and it means your body will be better able to take care of itself.
Oral cancer is a dangerous, yet somewhat preventable, type of cancer. It kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of all patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. The most common risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures. Although the majority of oral cancers are found in people who use tobacco and/or drink alcohol excessively, 25% of oral cancers occur in people who have no risk factors at all.
Your dentist could very well be your #1 soldier in the fight against oral cancer. Our staff’s trained eyes are not just focused on your teeth, but also your lips, cheeks, tongue, and palate. Regular screenings can identify abnormalities that may be cancerous. Early detection means early treatment and better, more predictable results. During a regular dental check-up, your dentist will examine your entire mouth, searching for a flat, painless, white or red spot or small sore. Other oral cancer signs include:
A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
A color change of the oral tissues
A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small, eroded area
Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips