Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Q: How does oral hygiene affect my overall health? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: Tooth and gum health can both indicate and trigger problems throughout the body. Oral hygiene neglect has been linked to a number of health issues that include poor fetal development, bacterial pneumonia, and heart disease. People who don’t take care of their teeth may also find it more difficult to eat a balanced, healthy diet.
Q: What about my emotional health? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: Having to deal with constant mouth pain or an unsightly smile can definitely damage a person’s emotional well-being. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are still developing a sense of self-worth. A confident smile goes a long way in building self-esteem.
Q: What role does diet play, in your experience? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: The foods we eat dictate our health from the inside out. If I feed my body a wide range of nutritious foods, it will have the energy to sustain each of its systems – including the digestive system, which starts with the mouth.
Q: What types of snacks promote a healthy mouth? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: Whole foods such as vegetables, nuts, and fruits, along with real cheese and yogurt, are great choices for snacking.
Q: What types of food should I avoid? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: Basically anything that is sticky and/or processed – and that would include fruit snacks, licorice, jellybeans… Sugar intake should be limited as its breakdown feeds bacteria which then hastens tooth decay.
Q: How does smoking affect the gums? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: Smoking reduces blood flow and therefore oxygen levels throughout the body. In the mouth, this can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Prolonged exposure to toxins from tobacco also causes oral cancer.
Q: What about staining…? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: Yes, cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco all quickly stain teeth. Just as concerning is that these habits also contribute to bad breath that may not be controlled with regular brushing.
Q: Is alcohol a problem for maintaining a healthy mouth? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: Actually, yes. Alcoholic beverages that contain high amounts of sugar and fruit juice have the same damaging effect on teeth as candy. What’s more, excessive alcohol consumption dehydrates the mouth, leading to a plethora of potential issues.
Q: How does weight interfere with dentures? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: Weight loss and gain can change the size and shape of the gums, meaning your dentures may not fit properly.
Q: Are there really medications that can harm the mouth? League City Dentist Dr. Ramzi Saman: Certain antibiotics are known to stain teeth from the inside. Nearly 400 medications indicate they may cause dry mouth, which is more prone to bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.