How to Avoid Common Dental Problems

They say a smile is a friend maker. However, if you are having dental problems, then it’s not always easy to wear a smile.

Make sure that you always have a great smile to give to everyone. By doing following our tips below, you can keep your mouth and teeth healthy and avoid any dental problems.

Dental Problems: How to Avoid Them?

The key to avoiding dental problems is prevention. By following preventative measures, you can be sure to minimize any risks of dental or oral issues.

Brushing your teeth every day is a vital step. It washes away the bacteria and germs that build up in your teeth every day. These same germs and bacteria are way can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental conditions.

The American Dental Association highly recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day – in the morning and at night. Germs and bacteria that cause dental plaque develop overnight, which leads to the infamous morning breath.

If you are a coffee drinker in the morning, don’t brush your teeth immediately after having coffee. Wait at least about half an hour. Coffee has acid properties. Because of how acidic it is, you may damage your teeth if you brush them as soon as drinking your morning coffee.

Also, make sure that you brush for two minutes every time. Make sure to brush your tongue as well. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and change it every three to four months.

To get more protection from germs and bacteria that may develop in the mouth, you can use fluoride-rich toothpaste.

Aside from brushing your teeth, it’s vital to add flossing g to your routine. This helps eliminate the buildup of food debris between the small gaps in your teeth and the gum line. These are the usual spots that the toothbrush misses.

Can Some Food and Drinks Cause Dental Problems?

Even if you diligently brush and floss your teeth every day, particular food and drinks, when consumed regularly, can cause dental issues.

These foods and drinks can break down the natural enamel of the teeth. When the enamel breaks down, it can cause decay and other severe dental issues.

Some food and drinks can affect dental health.

Sugary drinks such as soda and milk teas are acidic.

The acid from these beverages are not suitable for the teeth’s enamel.

When the enamel gets damaged, your teeth are more likely to decay. Thus, it’s best to avoid soda altogether and stick to water. It can cause other health problems anyway, such as diabetes.

If you must drink soda, you can enjoy it occasionally, just not every single day.

If you like candy, we also have some bad news. It’s not the best choice of snack if you want to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. We’re not saying to avoid candy at all costs; you can still indulge and enjoy them once in a while. However, if you must, there are certain types of sweets you can choose from.

Chewy and sticky sweets such as gummies, caramels, and dried fruits take a while to chew. Because of this, these candies stick to your teeth longer, which can cause plaque.

Don’t Overbrush

We mentioned brushing your teeth to prevent dental problems. However, there’s such a thing as overbrushing.

If you brush too many times a day or brush for longer each time, you risk wearing down the natural protecting coating of your teeth, which makes them more prone to decay.

Don’t brush too much or too hard. If you damage the enamel, your teeth actually get less stronger, making them more prone to germs and bacteria buildup.

Can Dental Problems Affect Your Overall Health?

The answer is yes. This response is by no means to scare you. However, studies prove that gum disease or simple tooth decay can lead to heart infections or even brain disease.

The state of your oral health can have a significant impact on your general health. Oral health goes far beyond your teeth, mouth, and gums. The connection between your oral and general health may not appear too apparent at first.

However, research and studies suggest that the link between the two is far greater than we realize.

Dental problems can be detrimental to your overall health.
A woman is smiling while being at the dentist

Thus, next time you brush your teeth, appreciate the fact that you’re not just doing it to have a healthy smile.

You are also taking care of your whole body and doing yourself a favor.

The Connection Between Our General Health and Oral Health

It’s a widely known fact that our bacteria thrive in our mouths. For the most part, this is harmless. If you brush and floss your teeth as frequently as you should, the amount of bacteria in your mouth should remain under control.

However, if you disregard your oral hygiene, these bacteria levels will increase, which can then lead to severe problems.

The bacteria found in your mouth multiply quicker and faster when you eat sugar and starchy foods. These bacteria mix with the sugars and form acids.

These acids are bad news for your teeth. They attack them, resulting in toothache, tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and periodontitis. These dental problems can then lead to more severe infections that can spread to the rest of your body.

Dental Problems Associated with Poor Oral Hygiene

Stroke and Heart Attack

Suppose you are not brushing or flossing your teeth regularly, plaque forms on the tooth, which will gradually build up. Plaque build-up can increase your risk of stroke or heart attack.

Additionally, a study conducted by the American Heart Foundation concluded that oral plaque build-up can lead to blocked arteries. Cholesterol is not just the main factor contributing to this condition.

Oral plaque can penetrate the bloodstream, which can then get lodged in one of the heart’s arteries. When the arteries are blocked, this can result in stroke or heart attack.

Diabetes

Gum disease could also make it difficult for you if you’re prone to diabetes or already diabetic. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is also known as a condition where the gums are inflamed. It’s a severe dental problem where the gums get so swollen that they start to recede from the teeth and create gaps.

These gaps are prone to infection. If you have diabetes and periodontitis on top of that, you would have difficulty absorbing the insulin medication you need to treat the former condition.

If you can’t take insulin, your blood sugar levels are not managed properly. In turn, high blood sugar levels further intensify the mouth and gum infections and inflammation.

It’s a vicious cycle. If you are suffering from diabetes, it’s more imperative that you practice good dental hygiene.

Endocarditis

When there’s a build-up of colonies of bacteria in your mouth, it could lead to gum disease or gingivitis. Bleeding gums are one of the common signs of gingivitis. And when this happens, the bacteria could get into the bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body.

When the bacteria reach the lungs and heart, a condition called endocarditis could happen. This condition is the result of the inner lining of your heart valves or chambers getting infected.

Pneumonia

Air comes into your body through the mouth and flows right into your lungs. If your mouth is teeming with harmful bacteria, it can blend into the air flowing down your lungs and cause respiratory problems such as pneumonia.

Older people, in particular, should ensure that they practice good oral hygiene. If they have to wear dentures, they should do so. Pneumonia and other respiratory conditions can get severe and life-threatening when it affects the elderly.

Dental Problems That Affect Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, you should know the importance of taking prenatal vitamins, going for your regular check-ups, and avoiding specific types of food.

Dental problems can affect pregnancy.

One essential thing to note is your dental health can affect you and your unborn baby. In addition to visits to your obstetrician-gynecologist, pregnant women should also not forget their regular dental appointments.

Research has shown that periodontitis or gum disease can increase babies’ risk of low birth weight or premature births.

HIV Patients with Dental Problems

HIV patients are already vulnerable to infections. Complications from these infections can prove to be fatal. Minor infections, including oral ones, can severely escalate because of the individual’s deteriorating immune system.

Poor dental health threatens an HIV person’s overall condition. There are studies proving that over 25 conditions are linked to HIV disease. One of these oral conditions is called mucosal lesions, which are also referred to as mouth ulcers. Mucosal lesions are common in HIV patients.

Thus, people living with HIV must be extra vigilant in keeping their health in check, and that’s including their dental health.

Key Takeaway

Your mouth is an essential part of the body. It’s the gatekeeper to the rest of your body. Take care of your dental health to lower the chances of developing other health issues. Keeping your oral health in tiptop conditions helps ensure that you are also safeguarding your overall health.

Author Profile

Dr. Wade J. Riley, DDS
I have been a family dentist in Phoenix, Arizona for over two decades. Arizona is my home, and I would never want to leave here for the world. I'm happily married to the dazzling Karen with two bustling boys.

I love the Bee Gees, so I just had to pick up this domain! On this blog, I will be offering the best of my wisdom to you about dentistry and the benefits of quality family dental care.