Oral care and why it’s essential
Quite rightly, when we think of dental health we think of our teeth. A healthy smile is more than just a good thing to look at – it also means that we’re more likely to have fresh breath and better overall confidence.
And dental health doesn’t need to involve much effort, either. A few simple routines such as brushing, flossing and using mouthwash for the recommended amount of time, at the recommended intervals – and we’re far less likely to need any restorative treatment next time we visit the dentist.
Getting a check-up every so often is important too. According to the information on the NHS Choices dental health pages, many of us assume that the frequency of check-ups should be once every six months – however they point out that some people might require check-ups more often while others may not need a check-up as often as that. It’s all to do with the state of your dental health, and they recommend that your dentist set the date of the next check up.
Oral health is more than just teeth
But there’s more to oral health than just teeth – during your check-up, dentists are also assessing your periodontal health. This is the area of oral health related to the gums, bone and other tooth-supporting tissues in the mouth.
And gum disease is something all of us would very much want to avoid. But it’s actually quite prevalent – according to one recent news report on a dental industry news site, as many as 8 in 10 UK adults over the age of 35 have a gum complaint of one sort or another.
Oral health and general health
Another important reason to be periodontal health aware is that gum disease is often linked to other health problems. Research over the last three decades indicates that there may be connections between poor oral health and heart disease as well as diabetes.
It’s not known yet whether these are direct and causal links or whether it may just be that people with poor gum health tend to be in poorer health generally. But either way, it’s massively important to look after your gums as well as your teeth – by not smoking, and making sure you’re doing all the recommended things for oral health such as keeping to an orally healthy diet and not going over the recommended alcohol intake.
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Jen Jones writes on dental health insurance topics for a range of oral and general health sites.