Pro Tips for a Healthy Mouth By Kyle Eustice
At-home dental care can somehow feel like a monumental chore, especially at the end of the day when all you want to do is climb into bed. Unfortunately, there are serious consequences that come along with neglect. Megan Kirk, RDH, BS, who is a hygienist at Northern Colorado Periodontics, wants people to remember that poor dental hygiene can result in a host of other health problems. Proper dental care does not just prevent cavities and gum disease as many people might assume.
“It’s important to keep your mouth clean for the health of your entire body,” Kirk says. “A healthy mouth acts as a barrier to the inside of the rest of the body. If there is a weak point in our mouth, bacteria and infection can be introduced into the rest of our body through our bloodstream, and when the bacteria is introduced into our bloodstream, it can negatively impact multiple systems.” For example, cardiovascular disease has
been directly linked to periodontal disease. Diabetics with uncontrolled periodontal disease have a more difficult time maintaining stable blood sugar levels, and expectant mothers may experience pre-term labor or low birth weight for their babies. There are a few important factors that are instrumental in keeping a person’s mouth free of gum disease and other oral infections. Home care and the subsequent daily complete removal of biofilm is
paramount to good oral hygiene. “Biofilm accumulates on our teeth throughout the day and contains bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease, so it’s important to thoroughly remove all biofilm,” she explains. “Remembering that biofilm is sticky, it doesn’t swish away, it needs something to physically remove it.” Regularly seeing a dentist is the second integral step in preventative care. Routine cleaning and exams are crucial to pristine