Oral Health

What Can Happen if You Make the Wrong Resolutions This Year

Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone and now it’s January. We all know what that means… New Year’s Resolutions. Every year we all make resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle, lose weight, workout more, etc. What about your oral health, though?

Oral health is notoriously overlooked when it comes to setting goals for the New Year. However, your overall health is very dependent on your oral health. Why not set yourself up for success this year and make it a priority to focus on your oral health and help your other health resolutions fall in to place as a result!

5 Oral Health Nightmares You’ll Avoid With the right Oral Health Resolution

1. Bad Breath

Remember how you tried to talk to Bob for the shortest amount of time possible at the holiday party because of his awful breath? Well, bad breath, which is clinically referred to as halitosis, affects as much as 65% of the population! The number one cause is, by far, poor oral hygiene.

When you don’t brush and floss after you eat, food particles linger in your mouth and start to smell. The coating on your tongue is also a key contributor to bad breath. In addition to brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day, you need to clean your tongue! Maybe you should help a friend out and share this article with Bob.

2. Gum Disease

Do your gums bleed when you floss? That’s normal, right? False. Most people don’t realize your gums are not supposed to bleed when you brush or floss. If yours do, this is a sign you may have gum disease or are heading in that direction.

Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease. When you have Gingivitis your gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. This happens when bacteria in plaque builds up between your teeth and gums from neglecting oral hygiene.

3. Tooth Loss

The thought of losing your teeth hasn’t even crossed your mind. Well, then we suggest making oral hygiene a top priority! Did you know adults 20-64 have lost an average of seven permanent teeth?! If that isn’t bad enough, 10% of Americans between 50 and 64 have no teeth left. Untreated cavities and gum disease can end in tooth loss.

You also should avoid eating and drinking foods that damage your teeth. Beyond just eating sugary and hyper-processed foods, you should also avoid highly chewy or hard foods. Specifically, you should avoid chewing popcorn kernels, ice cubes, and hard candies.

Chewing hard foods eventually leads to cracked and chipped teeth. Depending on how well you’ve taken care of your teeth, the damage can be minor, but your tooth might crack through the middle. In this extreme case, the broken tooth will need to be removed and replaced with a crown.

4. Cardiovascular Disease

This is just the medical way of saying heart disease. The bacteria from inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream, travel to the arteries in the heart, and cause atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis causes plaque to develop on the inner walls of arteries, which thicken, and this decreases or may block blood flow through the body. This can cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. This is where investing time in your oral hygiene will help that healthier lifestyle resolution you have!

5. Respiratory Infections

According to the Journal of Periodontology, gum disease could cause infections in your lungs, including pneumonia. Take a second and think about it. Your teeth and gums are infected, which means there are bad bacteria living in your mouth. Over a long period of time, you are breathing in that bad bacteria that is living in your mouth. It makes sense that would cause you to get sick.

That’s why it’s important to use a good toothbrush, proper flossing techniques, and antiseptic mouthwash. Just taking a few more minutes to care for your teeth will help you improve your overall health.

See, making good oral health one of your New Year’s Resolutions IS a good idea! Poor dental care is also a possible factor in other conditions like immune system disorders, weak bones, problems with pregnancy, and low birth weight.

Establish Good Habits

Practicing good dental care habits may benefit you in ways you never thought! Brush twice a day for two minutes, floss daily, and use a mouthwash to kill bacteria. You should also make a dental appointment every six months to get a professional cleaning and make sure you are cavity and gum disease-free. Here’s to a happy, HEALTHY, smile in 2016!