No Tooth Fairy Required!

You don’t need a tooth fairy to look after your teeth but you do have to realise that looking after your teeth has a real impact on the overall health of your body. Research is still being undertaken to determine the extent of the symbiosis, but here’s what you should know.
We shouldn’t think of our mouth and general body health as separate, but as having a real impact on each other. Recent research has shown that not looking after your mouth gums and teeth properly can have a negative impact on the health of the rest of your body. In fact the link between oral hygiene and general body well-being is so strong that the studies have shown links between gum disease and increased risk of serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
Exactly how oral health and all-round health are linked hasn’t yet been completely bottomed out, but according to Dr Anousheh Alavi, who is the scientific affairs manager for Colgate, the body’s own immune system has to generally work very hard to protect itself from harmful bacteria, including those around the mouth.
She has said:
‘If gum disease is present, our body defences are working even harder, which may make us less able to protect other parts of our body,’
It seems that the inflammation that bacteria can cause in the gums and mouth actually triggers the release of inflammatory signals in the body, affecting other parts over and above the mouth. However as gum disease clears away, the risk to the rest of the body lowers.
It may come as no surprise to learn that effective, daily oral hygiene is the best way to prevent oral-health problems. Gingivitisis often the first sign of problems. It causes an inflammation of the gums and/or bleeding when using dental sticks, flossing or brushing teeth. Some people make the mistake of stopping their oral routine when this occurs, but in fact gingivitis means that you should be more scrupulous in your oral hygiene- brushing twice a day (the second being before you go to bed), flossing regularly or using a dental pick after eating. The ideal toothpaste is one with proven antibacterial infection. If you’re not sure what one to use, ask your dentist to recommend one. Never go for cheap “pound-shop” types of toothpaste.
If despite your improved oral hygiene regime things don’t seem to be getting better, it’s time to visit your dentist. Straight away. Don’t put it off, though – as well as all the health problems already mentioned, advanced gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adulthood. Gingivitis can be sorted out if addressed early enough.
Finally, don’t smoke. Not only is smoking very bad for your health and increases your risk of having a heart attack, it is also likely to cause or accelerate gum disease. Smokers’ gums simply do not react as well or as quickly to treatment. Then of course there’s the tooth staining and the smoke odour emitted from your mouth. Give it up!