This three-part article series discusses eight interesting and little-known facts about oral health and healthcare. Advice is also provided on how to achieve better dental health.
You might think that you know everything there is to know about looking after your teeth and gums… whether or not you actually act upon what you know is another matter entirely. But, according to Pueblo dental healthcare professionals, there is a lot of fundamental information on dentistry that the average person is simply unaware of. This ignorance could actually be putting our health in danger! In this three-part article series, we shall be revealing some little known facts about your oral health and healthcare.
Amazing Fact # 1: 80% of Americans Suffer from Some Stage of Gum Disease
That’s right! According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, a staggering 80% of the American population suffers from some stage of gum disease. This might be mild inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) or full-blown chronic infection of the soft tissues surrounding the teeth (periodontitis). Either way, without treatment, both of these conditions can lead to tooth loss and edentulism, the state of not having any natural teeth left.
How can I tell if I have gum disease?
Oral bacteria cause gum disease. Poor oral hygiene and habits such as heavy smoking, drinking and a diet that is high in sugar and acid cause the proliferation of oral bacteria. Symptoms of this condition include:
- Red and inflamed gums
- Gums that are swollen and have encroached upon the crowns of the teeth
- Gums that have receded unnaturally from the crowns of the teeth
- Tooth discoloration
- Gum discoloration and brown mottling
- Chronic bad breath
- Gums that bleed when brushing or eating hard, crunchy foods
- Pus that seeps up from the under the gum line
- Oral lesions
- Teeth that feel loose
- Tooth loss
If you present with one or more of these symptoms, it is vital that you schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Amazing Fact # 2: Putting a Cap on Your Toothbrush is BAD
Toothbrush caps are marketed as a form of prevention against contamination. In fact, the opposite is true. The warm, moist and airless environment within the cap actually favors bacterial growth. You should place your toothbrush upright in a cup and shut it away in a cupboard where it can be left to dry.
Amazing Fact # 3: Never Store Your Toothbrush Near a Toilet
This fact may sound completely intuitive, but most bathrooms are very small. The result of this is: every time you flush the toilet, everything within the bathroom becomes bathed in a thin microfilm of water particles and bacteria. The whole idea behind toothbrush caps is to prevent the bristles of your toothbrush from being contaminated, but, as it was discussed in the previous point, these contraptions actually encourage bacterial growth.
The best thing to do is to keep your toothbrush closed up in a cupboard in between brushes... or, keep your toothbrush more than 6 feet away from the toilet.
Stay Tuned for Part 2
To read more interesting facts and Pueblo dentists’ advice on oral health and healthcare, stay tuned for the second installment of this three-part articles series.