New Year's resolutions often focus on health improvement, and Hillcrest San Diego dentist Dr. Doug Disraeli shares ways on how dental hygiene can link to overall health.
Says Dr. Disraeli, “In the New Year, many have resolutions to get healthier, and because the mouth is the gateway to the body, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene because of its impacts to overall health.”
Health conditions that may be impacted by oral health include:
- Cardiovascular disease - Studies suggest that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to oral bacteria, possibly due to chronic inflammation from gum disease.
- Diabetes - Studies show that people with diabetes are more apt to develop gum disease and other oral health problems than those without diabetes because diabetes can lower resistance to infections.
- Pregnancy - The risk of gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is increased with hormonal changes. It is so common that the term “pregnancy gingivitis” is a widely accepted diagnosis. With symptoms such as swelling and bleeding of the gums, gingivitis can become more serious and lead to gum disease. Some research suggests a link between gum disease and pre-term, low-birth weight babies.
To minimize risk and maintain oral health, according to Dr. Disraeli, brush teeth at least twice daily, floss at least once daily, eat a healthy diet, limit snacking, and schedule regular check-ups with a dentist.
“Maintaining oral hygiene to lead to an overall healthier lifestyle is a great New Year’s resolution to keep up all year round,” says Dr. Disraeli.