Research is showing a definite link between oral health and general well-being – but it is also true that how well you look after yourself can affect your dental health.
Study after study has flagged up smoking, poor diet and excess alcohol consumption as problematic to many areas of health – and oral health can certainly be added to the list. Within that trinity of red flags for health are contained a multitude of problems for oral health.
The main lifestyle factors affecting oral health
Poor diet – more specifically a sugar-rich diet
Sugar is bad news for teeth, it clings onto the surface feeding bad bacteria that then sets to work attacking the protective enamel of the teeth leaving them prone to decay.
The upshot of this is that sustained attacks are a direct route to cavities, which will need fillings. Cutting back on sugar – and certainly avoiding snacking on sugary foods will help to avoid decay.
Not only does smoking cause unsightly discolouration of the teeth it is also linked to some very serious conditions. Smoking is a major cause of periodontal disease, which if left untreated can cause irreparable damage to the structure of the mouth causing teeth to be lost.
Stopping smoking will help to halt the spread of the problem and a good hygiene routine – with the support of a dental professional – will help to keep gum disease under control.
Oral cancers such as mouth cancer and throat cancer are all heavily linked to smoking, which it is estimated is responsible for 65 per cent of cases.
The chances of developing oral cancers are also higher for people who drink alcohol, with research showing that 30 per cent of mouth and oropharyngeal cancers were attributed to alcohol.
Drinking alcohol can also cause damage to tooth enamel adding to the possibility of decay.
Together smoking, alcohol and infections are to blame for 91 per cent of oral cancer.
The good news is that sticking to government drinking guidelines and living well – eating lost of fruit and vegetables – could help to cut your risk.
If you have any worries about your oral health, please contact Bhandal Dental Surgery straight away.
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