April is oral health month in Canada, so this is the perfect opportunity for us at Lapointe Dental Centres to remind you of the importance of good oral hygiene. Oral health problems can have repercussions on a person’s quality of life, both physical and mental. Poor dental health doesn’t just impact your teeth and gums, it also affects your body. Research has shown that poor oral health is tied to several major health problems, such as diabetes, heart diseases, respiratory issues and cancers.
Periodontal disease, (loss of bone and gum structure) is a chronic disease that affect more and more people, but it can be easily diagnosed by your dental professionals when you come for your dental exam. It often shows no evident sign in the mouth until it is advanced, but your professionals are trained to do efficient screening to detect periodontal disease before it affects your bone and gum structure leading to teeth loss.
Regular dental exams are important at any age—whether you have your own teeth or not! Indeed, oral health includes the wellness of both the oral cavity and the face and neck. Your dental professional can also prevent more serious conditions or diseases like cancers and cysts and refer you rapidly to the right resources for treatment.
To maintain good oral health, professionals recommend that you take the following simple actions:
Keep your mouth clean
Brush at least twice daily, floss every day and maintain a healthy diet. Do not hesitate to ask your dental hygienist for tips to guide you!
Eat a healthy diet
Good oral health starts with a balanced diet. Eating foods that are harmful to your teeth can promote cavities and infections. For example, avoid sipping sweet or acidic drinks throughout the day. Instead, try munching on nuts, fruit or vegetables instead of full of sugar treats.
Examine your mouth regularly
Look for signs of gum disease and mouth cancer such as sores or lumps on the lips, inside the cheek or on the gums, white or red spots on your tongue. A mouth lesion that is still apparent after 10 days should be seen by your dentist. Numbness inside the mouth or difficulty chewing or swallowing should also be rapidly seen by a professional.
Smoking is a common cause of mouth cancer, gum disease and other types of cancer. Smoking not only increases visits and expenses related to oral health, but it also has an impact on treatment duration. For example, smoking is an important risk factor for implant failure.
Don’t wait until you need emergency dental care to consult your dentist. It only takes a few minutes to make an appointment with a dental professional—your smile lasts a lifetime.