Many people think that their oral health is just about their teeth. What does it matter if they lose those? Can’t you just replace them easily enough nowadays?
Well that is not strictly true. It isn’t always so straightforward or possible and if it is, involves a lot of time, expense and possible pain. Following on from that, you will still have a lifetime commitment to maintaining those new teeth – or implants as they would then be. With that in mind, the focus nowadays is very much on trying to maintain the teeth you have.
Did you know that if you have gum disease, your gums may bleed, you may have bad breath, your teeth may be on the move, and your gums may be receding and the gaps between them getting bigger with food packing being a result. In addition to that, you may have infections, swelling and pain. You may even find that your speech is impacted and you are lisping. In addition to all of this, gum disease is linked to an increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, arthritic, lung diseases, strokes, and depression – to name just a few!
Can you imagine how that is likely to knock your confidence and mental health?
Typical things my patients come in complaining of
- Covering their mouths because they are conscious of their appearance or worried they have bad breath
- Bleeding gums when they use brushes to clean between their teeth
- Not being able to eat anything without having to go to the bathroom to remove the food. Thus, eating out or in front of people is an issue
- Not wanting to smile anymore because they dislike the appearance
- Needing to cut up their food, only eating soft foods or never being able to bite into an apple again
- Not wanting to kiss their partners for fear of bad breath or giving them the disease
- Generally feeling unwell and worried about their future health
These are some things you can try
- See a dentist, establish a diagnosis and have treatment. You can also ask them to refer you to a hygienist or a specialist.
- Use high quality products that are clinically proven to help you – I favour UltraDEX products. They are clinically proven to prevent halitosis, lift stains, and help prevent gum disease.
- Commit to a long term change in habits. For good oral health, you need to brush effectively which means using both a toothbrush and something to clean between the teeth. Ask yourself what would make it easy for you to adapt this behaviour into your life? Some typical issues my patients complain of are:
- I fall asleep on the sofa and am then too tired – so try brushing and using your mouthwash as soon as you have had dinner and then the deed is done
- I do shifts and can’t get into a routine – so take your products to work! UltraDEX even have an on-the-go mouthwash and fresh breath spray.
- I ran out of brushes or mouthwash so stopped using it… – so add it to your online shopping list so it never runs out. The UltraDEX range of products is widely available in Boots, Tesco, and even on-line through Amazon and Ocado.
- Stop smoking – again, like with any behaviour change, I have to tap into each persons mindset to establish what their blocks are to quitting and to address those. Understanding the impact that smoking will have on oral health though is certainly the first step.
- Eat a healthy, plant-rich diet. A diet full of anti-oxidants is so good for oral health. A good way to keep this one going is to keep a food diary and log how much more energised you feel from this diet.
- Exercise – what on earth does that have to do with my oral health you may ask?! Well, it impacts your general health and your immune system, which needs to be healthy to prevent you from developing infection and inflammation.
- Reduce your stress. Stress has a huge impact on oral health and we have already discussed how the disease itself can cause stress! Simple practices of mindfulness, mediations, breathing can be a good start. How you choose to deal with triggers and events in your life will have a significant impact on how stress affects your health. That is why, depending on where you are at, either a therapist of some sort or a life coach can help with this.
So as we emerge from a period of intense stress globally, what better time than to take matters into your own hands, empower yourself, and take action to improve your confidence!
The UltraDEX range is clinically proven to provide 12 hours of fresh breath, as well as protect your teeth and gums from harmful bacteria.
Dr Rana Al-Falaki , as well as a specialist in Periodontics, is a leadership coach and optimal performance strategist helping individuals and businesses maximise performance, while at the same time minimise stress and create an environment of freedom and flow. Find out more about growing your business, training opportunities and coaching by visiting www.lightchangescoaching.com