Good oral hygiene is important because oral health can impact overall health. Proper oral hygiene can prevent tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth loss.
Tooth decay is the softening of your tooth enamel caused by acids produced when plaque bacteria break down sugar in your mouth. Over time, the softening of tooth enamel results in a pit or cavity in or on the tooth surface. Gingivitis is early-stage gum disease caused by the buildup of plaque on the tissues that surround the teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can worsen into a more severe form of gum disease, known as periodontitis, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Bacteria in the mouth and the inflammation associated with periodontitis can contribute to heart disease, stroke, pregnancy and birth complications, and pneumonia. Oral bacteria can spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart and cause inflammation and infections. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Certain bacteria in your mouth can end up in your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Moreover, a study published in the British Journal of Dentistry in April 2020 found that good oral health may prevent severe COVID-19 progression, especially in patients with diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
Aside from practicing good oral hygiene, there are essential vitamins and minerals that can protect your oral health and overall health. These include the minerals, calcium and phosphorus, which are vital for strong teeth. Foods rich in calcium include milk, yogurt, canned salmon and sardines with bones, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals. While foods rich in phosphorus include meats, eggs, nuts, legumes, dairy, whole grains, and dried fruit.
Vitamins D, C, and A also promote strong and healthy teeth. Foods rich in vitamin D include tuna, mackerel, salmon, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D such as milk, cereals, and orange juice. Citrus fruits, berries, Brussels sprouts, spinach and other fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin A include meat, poultry, dairy and other animal products as well as fruits and vegetables.
Shop at Watsons for oral hygiene and other essential healthcare products.
References: https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/adults/benefits-of-good-oral-hygiene/. Accessed 24 August 2020 https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities-tooth-decay/tooth-decay-cavities-symptoms-causes-treatments/. Accessed 24 August 2020 https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gums/gingivitis-symptoms-causes-treatments/. Accessed 25 August 2020 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475. Accessed 25 August 2020 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324708, Accessed 25 August 2020 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-020-1545-3. Accessed 2 September 2020 https://amp.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/5-essential-vitamins-for-teeth-and-gum-health. Accessed 8 September 2020 https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/calcium-vitamin-d-foods. Accessed 8 September 2020
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