I escaped into classic elegance earlier this month when I explored the lives of the ultimate costumer, Edith Head and one of fashion’s greatest couturiers, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Now, it is time to get back to health awareness. Let’s look at mouth matters, specifically flossing.
Periodontal (gum) disease is second only to the common cold as the most prevalent infectious ailment in the United States. It affects 80% of us. It can lead to heart problems, diabetes, and even dementia (precursor to Alzheimer’s Disease).
What can one do to prevent gum disease? It’s really simple: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss, don’t forget to rinse and visit your dentist at least twice a year. These routine steps will save your life and your dental bills.
Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns into plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities and tooth loss. 31% of Americans don’t floss every day.
“The best floss out there is the floss that gets used” Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S.
Flossing benefits more than oral health:
1. Improves Immunity: Did you know that flossing can protect you from germs and infection – beyond the gum line? It’s true; if excess bacteria accumulate on the teeth and gums, it can quickly travel through your throat or other parts of your body, such as lungs, causing a severe case of chronic asthma or pneumonia. So if you’re prone to upper respiratory infections like bronchitis, you best be vigilant with your oral health.
2. Prevents Obesity: Trying to shed a few pounds? I bet you would never guess that flossing is better for you than crash dieting. In fact, studies link plaque (or periodontal gum disease) to higher body fat. That means what you eat, and particularly what remains on your teeth after you eat, all contributes to weight gain.
3. Lowers Risk of Stroke: Medical researchers link oral health to heart health. Why? Because patients who suffer from tooth decay and gum disease are more likely to fall victim to a stroke. So flossing, keeps your heart ticking healthy.
4. Helps Manage Blood Sugar: If your diabetic chances are you have gum disease (or periodontitis). Patients with uncontrolled diabetes are susceptible to dental problems-particularly bleeding, sensitivity, and infections of the gums, according to research from WebMD.
5. Soothe Arthritis Pain: If you suffer from joint pain and inflammation due to existing arthritis or joint troubles, flossing may help prevent further joint irritation and even infection that can spread from inflamed gums to major joints via the bloodstream. So if you notice increased joint pain, try flossing to see if it soothes your arthritis symptoms.
6. Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s: As children, we heard that taking good care of your teeth when you were young would be beneficial in old age. Well, it turns out that adage referred to more than keeping your pearly whites intact. Studies now link tooth decay and tooth loss before the age of 35 to a heightened risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
This month the Associated Press published an interesting report about the weak evidence of flossing. However, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology both agree that flossing helps.
Flossing is inexpensive and a relatively easy habit to adopt, carrying no risk. So, why not floss? The mouth matters and simple oral health steps may prevent illnesses in many other areas in our body as we age.
Have a fabulous week,