It is no surprise that a healthy mouth is a sign of a healthy body. Bad oral hygiene can have serious negative affects on your heart.
The basics: brush twice a day or after anything super sugary (which can causes cavities), floss every night (and after things like popcorn), rinse with a disinfecting mouth wash. And most private health insurance plans will cover dental work, which means you have no excuse not to get your twice yearly dental exam (and free cleaning!).
But doing all of those things does not always prevent problems with your teeth. Here are a few common ones and how to deal with them.
- A toothache. Long gone are the days that we wear a bandage around our head when we have a toothache, but it is still a problem. If you feel a throbbing sensations that lasts for a while, it is time for a visit to your dentist. It can be a sign of tooth decay. If it is throbbing like that, the cavity is so deep that it is affecting the nerve endings. And a regular filling is not going to cut it. Get used to the idea of getting a root canal. Thankfully, with a root canal your mouth gets numb and you can just cruise on nitris oxide (or laughing gas) while the work gets done. But do not rest of the idea that you can just get a root canal whenever you need to. They are pricey even with insurance. And very serious tooth decay can result in an extraction. Yikes.
- Grinding your teeth. Often attributed to intense stress, but teeth grinding affects your jaw muscles and bone as well as the overall look and feel of your teeth. If you are a serious teeth grinder, you can get a mouth guard for when you sleep- the most common time that people grind their teeth unknowingly. Nerdy? Sure, but grinding down your chompers to the point that there is nothing left is just scary.
- Yellow teeth. Vigorous brushing can only take care of so much tooth discoloration. But a big part of it can be attributed to your diet. Soda, red sauces (like pizza and marinara sauce) and even our dear chocolate can stain your teeth. But there is hope! Teeth bleaching has come quite a ways. While in office bleaching sessions can be pricey, they are the most effective and the quickest. For a quick at home routine, try whitening strips that can help lighten a few shades over time.
- Gum disease. If you are brushing like normal and you find your gums start to bleed, there is a good chance that you have gum disease. This is often attributed to a lot pf plaque. Regular dental cleanings can help prevent plaque build up from even happening. But if you wait, say a few years, between dental visits, you could risk tooth decay and serious affects on your heart. The best way to avoid this is to brush often and visit your dentist regularly.