What’s Your Dental Health IQ?

Your dental health contributes to your overall body health more than you may know. Some research even suggests that people with gum disease are at higher risk for heart disease, pneumonia, stroke and problems in pregnancy. Poor dental health can also lead to oral cancer. When measuring your dental health IQ there are several areas to take into consideration including:

1. Gums – look at your gums to see the color. They should be pink and healthy looking. Red and/or swollen gums can be a sign of gum disease which is caused by bacteria. This can lead to other problems especially if the bacteria gets into your bloodstream causing an inflammation in other parts of your body. Rheumatoid arthritis has been linked to gum disease. People who have rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk of having gum disease and treating the gum disease can reduce pain and inflammation in joints. Basically, when the dentist checks the health of your gums, he checks for spaces between your gums and your teeth. These spaces are measured in millimeters, and the smaller the spaces the healthier are your gums. So a gumline pocket of size 1 is quite good, while a pocket that is size 7 can indicate advanced periodontal disease.

2. Tongue and mouth – Dry mouth can be a sign of poor dental health. This increases the risk of gum disease and cavities. Many types of medications can cause dry mouth. If you are taking antidepressants, antihistamines, decongestants or painkillers then you may be experiencing dry mouth as a result. A tongue that is swollen and smooth and a mouth that is a paler color and possibly sore can be a sign of anemia. The tongue should be pink, slightly moist and not have spots or bumps. It should be fairly smooth, but be able to see the taste buds on it.

3. Jaw – Bacteria from gum disease can lead to destruction of bone in the jawbone which can lead to tooth loss. Osteoporosis can also affect the jaw bone. A healthy jaw allows the teeth to fit together to create a healthy bite. If this is not the case, the jaw has to work harder and the result can be headaches, inflammation in the jaw, and pain. More serious complications can result if the muscles around the temporomandibular joint are not working correctly including headaches, dizziness, teeth grinding and ringing in the ears.

4. Teeth – Tooth loss can affect the ability to chew food making it harder on the digestive system to do its job. People without teeth are more likely to develop kidney disease. Teeth that are not taken care of can develop plaque which is a film of bacteria. Leaving sugar on your teeth feeds the bacteria allowing it to grow and spread to gums and wear away tooth enamel and causing tooth decay.

Natural Solutions for Good Dental Health

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Ideally brush 30 minutes after each meal with a sonic toothbrush
  • Floss at least once a day. Ideally, floss 30 minutes after each meal.
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Avoid eating sugar and brush soon after eating sugary foods
  • Use a water pick 30 minutes after each meal, or at least once a day.
  • Take at least 2 capsules of high-quality coenzyme Q10 daily. this natural supplement helps rebuild both gum and heart tissue, as well as rejuvenate the metabolic function for every cell in the body. Our bodies need more CoQ10 as we get older, and especially if we suffer from gum or heart conditions.
  • Take acidophilus. This probiotic is a naturally-occurring bacteria in our intestines and has a similar action to antibiotics without the side-effects. Taking acidophilus with CoQ10 can help restore gum health and prevent bacterial growth between the gums and teeth.
  • Take Ipsab. This Edgar Cayce product helps contract the gums, removes the bacteria and neutralizes the acids that erode enamel. Ingredients include salt, soda, prickly ash bark, and peppermint.
  • avoid brushing your teeth directly after eating anything acidic, as this tends to wear the enamel off your teeth. If you eat or drink something acidic, wait 30 minutes and then brush.

Employing some of these natural solutions can help raise your dental health IQ and get you a good report card at the dentist’s office.

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