All parts of our bodies do not age consistently. Some parts may age more rapidly than others, and your overall health age might be higher or lower than your calendar age. Your habits and lifestyle could result in a mouth that is years older than you are. Since oral health is so closely related to overall health, a prematurely aged mouth can contribute to a prematurely aged body. Your West Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, discusses some of the factors that lead to this early aging of the mouth and what you can do to turn back the clock.
Keep Up With Your Oral Hygiene
Studies have shown that gum disease (periodontal disease) is a strong indicator of serious health problems in other parts of the body, including the heart and the brain. Indeed, periodontal problems are suspected of being one of the causes of heart disease and dementia. Maintaining strong oral hygiene could be a matter of saving your life. Your West Des Moines dentist recommends brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once daily. This will keep dental plaque, the leading cause of both gum disease and tooth decay, from accumulating. Plaque can harden into tartar in only 48 hours, so make sure to keep your teeth clean.
Mind Your Diet
Another way that oral health and overall health are connected is though what you eat. Americans like to eat junk food, which is contributing to this country’s ever-growing obesity problem. Most junk food is loaded with sugars and starches, which are bad for the teeth. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, are good for your teeth, and hard crunchy veggies can even remove plaque. Overeating is another problem, since the more food you eat, the greater the chances of food particles sticking between your teeth, and the more sugars and starches you intake. Limit your snacking, and incorporate more healthy foods into your diet. Your teeth and your waistline will thank you.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Overweight people are also far more likely to develop diabetes, which can lead to a number of serious health issues, including worsening of gum disease. Diabetics have a harder time fighting off bacterial infections, which is what periodontal disease is. By eating right and exercising, you will significantly reduce the odds of developing diabetes. In turn, fending off gum disease will be all the easier.
Your West Des Moines Dentist Has More Suggestions
Dr. Johnson and the staff of Valley Ridge Family Dental will be happy to help you reduce your mouth’s age. If the time has arrived for your six-month dental checkup, make an appointment with our 50266 dentist office by calling (515) 223-9764. We welcome patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, Urbandale, and the surrounding Des Moines metro communities.