Research has shown overwhelming evidence that your oral health has an impact on your overall health — making it all the more important to take proper care of your teeth and gums. In order to maintain good oral and total wellness, you should be aware of the most common oral health issues and how you can address them.
What are the Most Common Oral Health Issues?
If you’re like most people, you probably have had a cavity at some point in your life. Whether as a child or an adult, poor oral hygiene or a diet high in sugary or starchy foods and drinks may have caused decay in one or more teeth, resulting in cavities.
If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to a number of health issues, such as gum disease or abscess — and unfortunately, one in five adults over the age of 65 lives with this issue.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease affects 47% of adults over the age of 45, with the risk increasing over time. A fairly common, but preventable, issue, gum disease often is the result of poor oral hygiene. However, those who have diabetes, smoke, have certain auto-immune diseases, or are genetically predisposed to the disease are at a higher risk.
While this can be treated, especially if detected early on, if the disease is allowed to continue in your mouth, the resulting bacteria can travel to other parts of your body and cause serious health issues such as:
Osteoporosis, and more
While a vast majority of people wake up with “morning breath,” the bad taste and smell in your mouth should subside after you brush your teeth and use mouthwash. However, aside from being caused by the continued use of tobacco products, lingering bad breath is a common sign of more serious oral and other health issues.
Bad breath is often a symptom of hygiene issues, such as:
Tooth decay and gum disease
Nose and throat infections
Chronic health issues such as diabetes, gastric reflux, and kidney or liver disease.
Although everyone is accustomed to baby teeth falling out during childhood, there are several ways that you can lose your adult teeth too. You may lose permanent teeth in an accident or as a result of aging. Additionally, if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene, the tooth may suffer from decay and need to be extracted or fall out on its own.
It’s important to understand that if the space where a tooth used to live is left empty, bacteria can grow in that area and lead to gum disease and other serious health risks.
How Do I Prevent Oral Health Issues?
Since it’s evident that these common oral health issues can impact your overall health, it’s all the more important to take measures to maintain a healthy mouth and protect yourself from these ailments. Some of the best ways to do this include:
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
At the base of keeping your mouth and body safe from disease, you need to make sure you’re keeping up a good oral hygiene routine at home. This means:
Brushing your teeth, tongue, and gums for two minutes at least twice a day
Flossing at least once a day
Using oral care products with fluoride
Rinsing with mouthwash
Maintain a Good Diet
We all know that what you consume has an effect on your overall health, but it also has an impact on your mouth — since food and drinks pass through that area first. To avoid oral health issues, limit your consumption of starchy foods and cut back on sugary drinks like soda and sports beverages.
Keep Up with Routine Oral Exams
One of the best ways to combat oral health issues is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Make sure you’re visiting your dentist at least twice a year — more often if recommended by your oral health provider — so you can have regular cleanings and exams to keep your mouth healthy.
If your dentist does discover an issue during a routine visit, they can offer treatment recommendations to help prevent further health complications and protect your mouth and body from more serious diseases.
Integrated Medical and Dental Care in New York and New Jersey
At ProHEALTH Dental, we educate, promote, and provide proper oral health care as an integral step towards improved overall health and to help people of all ages live healthier and more productive lives.
We are the only dental organization in New York that has clinical affiliations with high-quality large medical groups and healthcare systems so we can coordinate care with treating physicians.
Put your health where your mouth is today. Contact us to schedule your next exam.