The Importance of Oral Health
I have been focused on my tracheal stenosis that I have forgotten about making an appointment for the dentist. Oral health is important. Many chronic conditions such as Diabetes, autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjorgen’s syndrome, Osteoporosis, pregnancy, and cardio vascular disease need regular dental care. Your mouth, your teeth can make these disease worse because of the bacteria that is there. My goal for November is to make an appointment with a dentist. Have you been to the dentist lately?
I was reminded by the newsletter I get from the Aging and Disability agency for Washington State about the importance of oral hygiene. On the front page they have a whole article about the importance of oral health for those of us who have illnesses. For me, I have gotten so overwhelmed with my appointments for eye health, my primary doctor, the Rheumatologist, and my ENT and counseling that adding to it a dentist seemed like it was too much. It sometimes feels like my job is going to some medical appointment and dealing with all the health things in order for me to be well. Wellness is my ultimate goal and I have to consider that my oral health needs to be included in my goals. I also need to up my oral hygiene.
When you don’t take care of your mouth many things can happen. You lose your teeth, you get gum disease, which causes inflammation in your body and the bacteria in your mouth can move to other parts of the body. We all know how disastrous inflammation is to your body especially for those of us with illnesses that use the inflammation to attack our other body parts. I know for me with my diabetes and my RA I need to take better care of my mouth.
Here are the Risk factors that cause oral diseases:
An unhealthy diet that is rich in sugar
Excessive alcohol use
Poor oral hygiene
We all know that brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily keeps your mouth healthy. Did you know that replacing your tooth brush every 2 to 3 months also helps with keeping your mouth healthy? Also, having a healthy diet that is rich in beta carotene, vitamin c, vitamin e, antioxidants, and bioflavonoids. It also reducing the risk of getting oral cancer of any type. While researching, I learned that eating snacks is not optimal because it doesn’t produce enough saliva so that the acids in our food harm the teeth and it also doesn’t break the food down so it is easier to swallow. When you eat a meal you have time to produce enough saliva for the mouth to do its job.
Here are the recommendations of dentists for a healthy diet:
Drink plenty of water
Eat a variety of foods: whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and protein, dairy
If you need any ideas about meal planning and a coach I recommend you contact Karen Clemenson at Wellness Works NW.