Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Your Mouth is a Battlefield … Fight It!

When keeping oral hygiene in mind, it helps to think of your mouth as a battlefield, as a reminder to take care of your oral health.

Modern Warfare is a dangerous game that takes place in your mouth every day. It is your “Call of Duty” to fight off the harmful bacteria and sticky plaque that attack your teeth and gums, day-in and day-out.

Simply stated, plaque is the enemy. It is a viscous threat to your tooth enamel and gums. If plaque builds up, and gets through the front line, it wears down the enamel and causes inflammation and infection of the gums. Think of yourself as the defender, and you have the armor. The only way to win the war is by brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist.

If you do not act as the protagonist on behalf of your oral health, there are serious consequences.

There is a growing body of research in the medical journals that reveal a true antagonist to your health – plaque, which can lead to major health issues.

Plaque and poor oral hygiene are the roots of many evils to your body. Studies and research find that bacteria and inflammation in your mouth can be associated with other problems, including:

• Periodontal disease
• Heart attack
• Diabetes
• Dementia
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Premature birth

Plaque constantly forms on your teeth, gum-line and dental work. Food and beverages containing a lot of starch and sugars release acids that attack enamel and gum tissue. Over time, without proper care, brushing and flossing, plaque causes decay and gets into the bloodstream of the body, causing greater harm to organs and your health.

Look for the beginning signs, like bad breath, gingivitis, tooth sensitivity, cavities, inflammation, and tender and swollen gums that bleed.

Inflammation is also a common denominator. If it exists in your mouth and around your gums, then it is more than likely leading to inflammation in other areas.

You are the first responder to your own health. It is important to fight the battle with good hygiene, brushing and flossing. Your dentist can only respond if you take the time to visit every six months for routine examinations.

American Dental Plan is here to help you fight that war, and make dental care more affordable, because we care about you and your health.