Oral health is underappreciated. Only about 40% of Americans floss daily, and 20% never do. Oral health isn’t just about good looking teeth, good smelling breath, or not wanting your teeth to fall out as you age (although those are all valuable). Oral health impacts the entire body. People with signs of periodontal disease like tooth decay, or sore gums that may bleed or be receding are more likely to struggle with other aspects of health like high blood pressure.
It’s estimated that 1 in 3 Americans have high blood pressure, so take note: in a recent study, treating high blood pressure in people with periodontal disease was harder. Not only did they have comparably worse cardiovascular disease, they were less likely to get it under control.
Poor oral health means ongoing inflammation. It works your immune system, sends that inflammation throughout the body, and may even contribute to artillery plaque (thanks to swallowing all that un-brushed or flossed teeth plaque). Many studies have now linked it to poor cardiovascular health, this one just gives some comparable numbers.
It’s not just cardiovascular health that’s affected, kidney health and brain function may be impacted, too!
So here’s how to get your oral health back under control:
-Start building habits to brush at least twice a day (but ideally after every meal), and floss at least once (before bed is great if you’re not having midnight snacks).
-Make brushing and flossing more efficient. Common mistakes include not brushing long enough (2 minutes is recommended, getting all sides of each tooth), and not flossing correctly (don’t just stick it in there, scrape all along each tooth’s side). You also don’t need to brush hard, it’s not good for your enamel. Electric toothbrushes can help correct you if your pressure is off, and also give the correct circular motion.
-Did you throw up? Don’t brush! Rinse your mouth with water and baking soda, then wait an hour to brush.
-Brush the tissue, like your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth to combat bacteria and bad breath.
-Take colloidal silver as a daily supplement to help combat bacteria, inflammation, infection, and more. Before swallowing, swish it around your mouth, gargle in your throat, or hold it in your mouth over a problem area.
Share your best tips for better oral hygiene in the comments: