Dental Hygiene is often an overlooked as a key piece of disease prevention. It refers to the practice of keeping the mouth, teeth and gums clean and healthy to prevent not only dental disease but also multiple life-threatening diseases.   The condition of your mouth is closely tied to your overall health. Oral health is linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and preterm low-weight births, and more. Many children and adults still go without simple measures for effective prevention of oral disease.

October is National Dental Hygiene month, and time to focus on an essential part of our physical upkeep. Prevent tooth decay (cavities) with good hygiene, improved diet, regular visits for check-ups with your dentist can help to prevent an issue starting.

Tooth decay is a problem at any age, and can cause pain, difficulty in concentration, and for children, learning problems and school absences. Tooth pain can affect quality of life, and poor appearance. Oral bacteria and inflammation associated with periodontitis, the severe form of gum disease, have associations and links with diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease. Bad tooth decay can lead to gum and bone infections, which can exacerbate the presence of other diseases. This can be due to infections getting into the bloodstream, damaging heart and joints.

The small act of regular brushing with a good toothbrush and toothpaste, and flossing regularly, preferably after each meal, goes a long way to preventing an escalating situation that can have disastrous effect on your overall health. Regular visits to a dentist is an important confirmation that your dental health is being taken care of with your daily dental hygiene habits. Our teeth are so much more important than just for chewing.

Sally Warren, PhD
Board Certified Traditional Naturopath
Metro Integrative


Metro Integrative Pharmacy

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. The information in this article is for educational purposes only.