Many of us know by now what we need to do take care of our teeth. Your dentist in Jacksonville tells patients every day how important it is to brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit him every six months. However, keeping these habits alone won’t protect you if your lifestyle includes habits like smoking, failing to exercise, and eating poorly. Some of these habits are worse than others, but they all contribute to your oral health just as much as they do your overall health.
To help patients better understand, your dentist explains why making positive changes in your habits can make a difference in your oral health, outside of the regular brushing and flossing.
People Who are Obese are at Higher Risk
People who are obese tend to be at higher risk of many different illnesses, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers, but did you know obesity can influence your oral health as well? According to research on the link between obesity and oral disease, the main cause of elevated risk may be the resistance to insulin obese patients have. It’s also worth mentioning that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) produce more inflammatory proteins.
Inflammation has been linked to periodontal disease many times in the past. When the body becomes inflamed, it’s ability to fight infection becomes reduced, putting your gums at higher risk.
Your Nutrition Matters for Oral Health
While it isn’t taught enough, your dentist in Jacksonville knows that nutrition is the key to improving your overall and oral health. The saying “You are what you eat” heavily applies when it comes to nutrition and it’s no different for your teeth and gums.
When you eat foods that are starchy or sugary, the bad bacteria in your mouth starts to consume it and convert the sugars from these foods into acid. This adds to the plaque buildup in your mouth and if not removed, causes tooth decay. When looking at gum disease, plaque can just as easily build up on your gums, making them red, swollen, and inflamed. By eating a balanced meal of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and proteins, you’re far more likely to produce more saliva which works to protect your teeth throughout the day.
It’s Time to Quit Smoking for Good
Unlike many decades ago, people now realize how devasting smoking and using tobacco are for their overall health. It’s also not doing any favors for your oral health. This is because using tobacco products does the following:
- Yellows teeth
- Causes chronic bad breath
- Dramatically increases your risk for oral cancer
- Causes gum disease
- Causes tooth loss
Smoking makes you produce more bacterial plaque and causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. This makes it more difficult for your gums to heal. Today, it’s the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
Fortunately, there are ways to make changes to these habits and get your oral health back on track. To learn the best way to make these changes, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Jacksonville today!
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki earned his BS degree from the University of Florida and his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the university’s College of Dentistry. Afterward, he completed a one-year fellowship and a 3-year residency in Prosthodontics. To learn more tips on improving your oral health or learn about the practice, contact him at (904)683-4781 or visit his website.