Understanding and Practicing Dental Wellness
Wellness is not just the absence of disease, but the presence of vitality and health. This is also true when it comes to oral wellness. Just because you don’t have any cavities, doesn’t mean you’ve achieved oral wellness. Making sure your mouth is in sync with your entire body is a process and a routine. One that not only improves your oral health, but can also improve our overall health. Taking care of your oral health can be the the first step on a path to total body wellness. As the gateway to your body, it is easy to understand how the health of your mouth can influence the health of your entire body.
You don’t need to be a nutritionist to understand that everything you eat has an effect on your body and total wellness, however you may need to speak to your Jacksonville, Florida dentist to understand that everything you eat can also have an effect on your teeth and oral health. We all know that sugar causes damage to your teeth. By providing food for bacteria, lingering sugar can create an acidic environment that will eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Once enough calcium is dissolved from your teeth, a cavity will form. If the decay is not removed, and the mouth is able to remain in an acidic state, the cavity can cause decay deep into the tissue of the tooth which can necessitate extensive dental work. The bacteria that thrives on sugar can also make its way under the gumline and cause a serious and chronic condition called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is characterized by severe inflammation of the gums. The inflammation in conjunction with calcium dissolving from the tooth and jaw bones, can cause tooth loss. Even more concerning, however, is the effect that periodontal disease can have on your overall wellness. It is truly a disease that does not just affect the teeth and gums but can have lasting effects on the cardiovascular systems, kidneys, pancreas, and even the brain.
Staying away from sugar is just one way that you can promote wellness for your mouth. However, sugar is a very common component to the average American diet. You will do well to remove this bacterial food source from your teeth and gums as soon as possible. For most people, this means brushing your teeth for two minutes twice each day, and flossing once each night. Others choose to chew sugar-free gum containing xylitol, to remove sugar and “starve” the harmful bacteria.
Another way you can feed your smile and practice oral wellness is by eating foods that can restore the vitality to your mouth. Foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins can help protect your teeth, gums, and oral tissues from free radicals that can cause damage at the cellular level. Choosing foods rich in calcium and phosphorous like dairy products and green, leafy vegetables can help fortify the integrity of your teeth from the inside. Choosing foods that improve your circulation and heart health such as cocoa, grapes, and garlic can improve the health of your blood and immune system. This can enable your body can easily take care of any infection that may develop.
Cleaning and Health
As your Jacksonville, Florida dentist, it should come as no surprise that we recommend cleaning your teeth twice each day. As we discussed earlier in this blog, practicing great oral hygiene is important to prevent decay and disease and promotes oral wellness. By cleaning the mouth regularly you are enabling your body to become well. Mouth diseases and conditions have consequences far from just the oral cavity which is why it is also important to see your dentist twice each year. A cavity is bad enough, however if the decay becomes so bad that the tooth falls out or must be removed you can suffer from constant bone loss. This disintegration of jaw bone can make it difficult to eat the nutrient-dense foods your body craves and needs to achieve oral wellness. If you are able to catch decay and disease soon enough with the help of your dentist, you can prevent issues like tooth loss and periodontal disease.
Practicing oral wellness is the first step in total body wellness. If you have any questions about how the health and vitality of your mouth connects to your whole body, ask Dr. Shields today. We are excited to help you on your journey to oral and total wellness.