April Is National Oral Health Month: Follow These Tips for Happy and Healthy Teeth

10 April 2024

National Oral Health Month exists to remind Canadians of the importance of taking care of their teeth and gums. After all, maintaining good oral health is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle.

Preventing oral health issues and other related health problems requires diligent upkeep of dental hygiene practices. This month, take some time to refresh yourself on the best way to care for your mouth with the tips in this article.

The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Did you know that your oral health can affect your overall health? This is another reason why it’s so vital to care for your mouth with a thorough dental hygiene routine.

Mouths are naturally full of germs. Regular brushing, flossing, and use of mouthwash combat the inherent existence of bacteria, keeping it under control, so severe issues cannot develop.

Without good oral hygiene, the germs can proliferate and reach problematic levels. They can cause oral infections and oral diseases, and spread to other parts of the body.

Oral inflammation and gum disease can play a role in other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests oral inflammation and the bacteria associated with periodontal disease is linked to the clogged arteries that cause heart disease and strokes.

Endocarditis (infection of the endocardium) can be caused by oral bacteria that travels to the heart chambers. Similarly, oral germs that reach the lungs may result in pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. Additionally, gum disease increases the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.

Alternatively, certain diseases like diabetes and HIV/AIDS can increase the risk of oral infections. These diseases weaken the body’s immune system, so it’s unable to effectively fight infections. This can make oral health problems worse.

Some medications can also increase the chance of oral diseases. For example, decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, and antidepressants can lower your mouth’s saliva levels.

Saliva is crucial for washing away food particles and bacteria, as well as regulating acidity levels in the mouth. When your mouth has less saliva, germs accumulate, causing tooth decay and disease.

Consequently, it’s important to be mindful of how your overall health affects your oral health, and vice versa.

Common Oral Health Conditions

Poor oral health can cause a variety of conditions. Fortunately, most can be prevented with regular dental care.

  • Tooth decay (cavities): Cavities are the most common oral health issue encountered by patients in Oakville and across Canada. They’re a result of plaque/tartar accumulation and high acidity levels in the mouth.

    The inherent bacteria produce acid as they eat the sugars and debris left behind by eating and drinking. This acid then wears down your tooth’s protective enamel. Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth, which also eats away at your enamel. As the enamel weakens, little holes develop, leaving the inner layers of your tooth vulnerable.

  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is gum inflammation. It’s also the most common and mildest form of gum disease. As a result, it needs to be taken seriously and treated promptly. Otherwise, the gum disease progresses and causes more severe health issues.

    Gingivitis results from plaque overgrowth along the gumline. As plaque accumulates, bacteria spread, and bacterial infection follows. Bacterial infection usually causes gum inflammation.

  • Gum disease: Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that attacks the tissue that holds teeth in place. Symptoms include tenderness in the gum line, bleeding, and swelling. If such issues occur, you must seek treatment immediately.

  • Periodontitis: Periodontitis is the most severe form of gum disease. It can destroy the soft tissue around your teeth and the bones that support your teeth. You can experience tooth loss as a result.

  • Oral cancer: Oral cancer is the most dangerous oral health issue that you can experience. Smoking, high alcohol consumption, unsafe sex, and poor diet increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Your Oakville dentist performs an oral cancer screening at your routine checkups.

Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health

Brush and Floss

Both brushing and flossing are essential for good oral health. Brushing removes food debris, sugar residue, and bacteria from your mouth. Be sure to brush your teeth, tongue, and gums to remove plaque. Flossing reaches places that brushing cannot, like the hard-to-reach spots between your teeth and along your gum line.

You need to brush your teeth twice a day—once in the morning and again in the evening—and floss once per day. Additionally, make sure to wait 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth since your enamel is weakened by the saliva produced during mealtimes. Brushing too soon can actually damage your tooth enamel.

Use the Right Toothbrush and Brushing Technique

Using the wrong toothbrush can also damage your valuable tooth enamel. You should only use soft-bristled toothbrushes (with fluoride toothpaste). Replace your toothbrush every three months or whenever the bristles look worn or misshapen.

Proper tooth brushing takes two minutes. Brushing for less increases your risk of tooth decay and other oral health problems. As you brush, angle the bristles at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line so they reach between the gums and teeth. Move the toothbrush in small, circular motions without scrubbing hard back and forth.

Drink Water and Eat Healthy

Whenever we eat or drink, acids, sugars, and other residues remain in our mouths. Consequently, drinking water can wash away some of these lingering food particles that would otherwise feed the bacteria in our mouths. Staying hydrated also helps prevent dry mouth by supporting saliva production.

You and your family should choose water over sugary juices and pop. Sugary beverages essentially bathe your teeth in sugar, promoting tooth decay.

A healthy diet full of vegetables and fruits provides the minerals and vitamins necessary for good oral (and overall) health.

Visit Your Oakville Dentist

Regular visits to your preferred Oakville dentist are vital for your oral health. These appointments include professional cleanings, checkups, and oral cancer screenings. Lingering plaque and tartar build-ups are fully removed using special tools. Your dentist then checks for signs of developing oral health conditions, like tooth decay and gum disease.

Oakville Place Dental Office: Home of Oakville’s Top Dentists

Oakville Place Dental Office is your partner in lifelong oral health. Our experienced and knowledgeable dental team are dedicated to helping you care for your teeth and gums to prevent decay and disease.

We offer a wide range of oral health care, including routine cleanings and comprehensive treatments. Our dental office is modern, comfortable, and ready to welcome you.

Additionally, we will work with your insurance company to bill them directly for applicable services whenever possible.

To make an appointment with your Oakville dentist, call Oakville Place Dental Office at 905-842-6030 or contact us here.

Leave A Comment 0 Comment
Share Us On:
Leave A Comment