Op-Ed: Dental Care Contributes to Your General Health


By Jacquelyn M. Williams DDS


Do Black lives matter?


If you are reading this then you probably are thinking that you already know this – that I am preaching to the choir.


But I ask this to challenge you. Are you treating and taking care of yourself to show that you matter. Are you treating yourself as a living reflection of that statement?


One way of expressing that belief in yourself is taking care of your health, and part of having good health is having healthy teeth and gums. All too few people understand the relationship between good oral health and general health.


If your gums bleed, or if you have a cavity, that is part of a disease process. Bacteria are involved in each case and if left untreated, the bacteria will continue to grow and cause potential tooth aches and tooth loss.


When the gums bleed and are puffy and the teeth get loose, that is part of a disease process called periodontal disease. The plaque that develops and sticks to your teeth is the same plaque that causes heart attack.


People who develop gum/periodontal disease are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, develop osteoporosis and deliver babies early with low birth weight.


I say this to give you a reason to develop healthy habits. A healthy mouth contributes to your well-being and self esteem.


Brush your teeth and tongue for two minutes at lease twice a day. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush gently so that you don’t damage your teeth and gums.


Don’t share toothbrushes. Get a new toothbrush every six months.


Use Fluoride toothpaste. Clean between your teeth with dental floss at least once a day.


Avoid tobacco products. See a dentist at least once a year.


Avoid sugar foods and drinks.


Take care of your teeth and gums and your health. If you take care of you, you are showing that you matter.


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