Oral health is often the window to your overall health. Evidence has supported the link between poor oral health and such conditions as stroke, premature birth and diabetes. Other conditions, such as HIV/AIDS and osteoporosis may show preliminary signs in your mouth, before other areas of the body are affected. Also, some of your daily activities or habits can affect your oral health. Therefore, it's wise to pay attention to your teeth and gums.
Brian Gold, D.D.S., Monticello, NY, and consultant to Majestic Drug Company, a leading provider of oral care products, provides this valuable insight into oral hygiene.
- Survey shows Americans unprepared for dental emergencies. Although 72 percent of Americans have fillings, caps or crowns and one in six had a dental emergency during the past 12 months, most are not prepared to deal with a dental emergency, according to a recent survey conducted by Majestic Drug Company It's wise to have a product such as Dentemp® O.S. on hand as a temporary repair for loose caps or lost fillings.
- Bulimia and acid reflux can destroy tooth enamel. Bulimics are often able to hide the disorder from others but not from their dentist. Enamel erosion is a major sign of bulimic behavior. And acid reflux, whereby stomach acid flows into the esophagus and mouth, can cause tooth and gum erosion.
- Soda and citrus drink overuse can be caustic to tooth enamel. The average American drinks more than 53 gallons of soft drinks each year, more than any other beverage including milk, beer, coffee or water. Phosphoric acid in soda and citric acid in citrus drinks can cause tooth enamel corrosion and the sugar can cause cavities.
- Excessive chlorine in swimming pools can erode tooth enamel. This can make your teeth more sensitive to heat and cold.
- Many people don't know they have bad breath. Dr. Gold suggests this test: Using dental floss or a tongue scrapper, sniff either the floss or the scrapper. If your mouth is clean, you won't have a telltale smell.
- Infection and trauma can cause tooth enamel defects. Nutritional deficiencies during infancy, antibiotic use such as tetracycline, high fever, and trauma can all lead to tooth enamel irregularities such as pitting.
- Eighty percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease. It can range from simple gum inflammation, called gingivitis, to serious disease that results in damage to the bone.
- One in four adults age 60 and older has lost all of his/her teeth. A good oral hygiene program should include twice daily brushing, flossing, eating a balanced diet, limiting between-meal snacks and regular visits to your dentist for professional cleaning and oral exams.
SOURCE Majestic Drug Company