5 Things You Never Knew About Your Mouth
It’s a new year. Get your gym membership, your juicer and some new clothes—it’s time for some changes. But as you continue on the annual quest for self-improvement, it’s easy to overlook one thing: your mouth. To help shape up your smile this year, we’ve gathered a few health tips and little-known facts about oral health.
Taking care of your mouth is pretty easy with the right preventative care. We hope some of these quick tips will help change how you think.
- The most preventable disease in the world is in our mouths
Periodontal disease, sometimes known as gum disease, is the most preventable disease on earth.
Conservative estimates say about half of adults in the U.S. are living with periodontal disease. This may sound alarming, but the severity of the condition ranges greatly. Still, it’s fairly easy to prevent. For most people, the key to avoiding this condition is as easy as going to the dentist twice a year, flossing once a day and brushing twice a day.
- Your mouth turns over every two or three weeks
It’s true—the cells that line your mouth are always dying and growing back. This cycle can help you know whether something is just a pizza burn or canker sore, or something worse. “You get a completely new mouth in two to three weeks,” said Vladana Babcic, DMD. “If you notice a bump or you notice something on your tongue and it goes away in two to three weeks, you’re good.”
- Daily flossing can do wonders for your heart
We talk a lot about the oral-systemic connection, and we can’t stress its importance enough. Heart attacks, stroke and a cause of Alzheimer’s disease are among the many conditions linked to the mouth. While there are still many questions of correlation vs. causation, most experts agree there is an important link between the mouth and the rest of the body.
- The plaque you brush off your teeth is a biofilm that’s yellow and riddled with disease-causing bacteria
When you’re brushing your teeth every day, remember exactly what you’re cleaning off. What we call plaque is actually a biofilm, or a group of microorganisms that stick to each other on a surface. Biofilms exist throughout your body, but the kind that hang out in mouths contain fungal and bacterial cells.
Some of the bacteria can cause dental disease when it builds up. So, consider that when your dentist reminds you for the 10th time to floss every day.
- Forget normal mouthwash; you don’t need all those chemicals
Many consumer dental mouthwashes are riddled with unnecessary chemicals that leave your mouth feeling clean. But do you really need the burn from alcohol-based mouthwash? Nope.
Our favorite natural alternative to mouthwash is oil pulling. It’s an ancient health technique in which you swish oil around in your mouth everyday with the goal of “pulling out” the bad bacteria from your mouth. While it’s not as quick as a 60-second mouthwash swish, it can leave your mouth feeling cleaner and fresher than ever.
We hope you learned something interesting that will energize you to brush up your oral care habits in 2016. Cheers!