In today’s world, time is the only luxury we cannot afford. The world around us is always running. We try to fit the maximum work in our day, and while doing this we often fall into certain lifestyle patterns.
We want to do everything in a rush. The “Food” has been transformed into “Fast Food” and our “Sleep” into “Power Naps.”
The term ‘lifestyle’ is a diffuse concept often used to denote the way people live, reflecting a whole range of social values, attitudes and activities. It is composed of cultural and behavioral patterns and lifelong personal habits (e.g., physical activity, diet, smoking, alcoholism) that have developed through processes of socialization.
Lifestyles are learnt through social interaction with parents, peer groups, friends and siblings, through school and mass media. Many current-day health problems especially in the developed countries (e.g., coronary heart disease, obesity, lung cancer, drug addiction) are associated with lifestyle changes.
It is possible that a remarkable improvement in oral cleaning habits is difficult to achieve if the general lifestyle is unhealthy.
In this blog we shall discuss such lifestyle patterns and their impact on our oral health.
Most of our favorite junk foods contain an abundance of sugar that is why they are called junk food. This is the main reason junk food is so bad not only for oral health but also general heath. Snacking on these kinds of treats and sipping on sugary drinks throughout the day increases the likelihood of tooth decay/ cavities.
Junk food also consists of too much unhealthy fats and carbohydrates. These foods are high in calories and low in nutritional value. A frequent consumption of these can lead to a number of diseases like diabetes, obesity and heart problems.
There have been ongoing researches highlighting the co-relation between oral health problems and general health conditions, For example: Obesity can lead to Sleep Apnea (snoring or irregular sleep patterns due to breathing irregularities.)
CARBONATED DRINKS/ SUGARY FOODS
Carbonated drinks / sodas are a rich source of sugars and have an acidic PH, which is harmful for our teeth and gums. Similarly, high sugar foods such as chocolates, candies, doughnuts etc. act as an energy source for the harmful bacteria in our oral cavity.
Too much consumption can lead to oral cavities and tooth erosions which lead to tooth cavity treatment.
Regular dental visits, Scaling/Polishing is recommended by all dentists in Delhi and particularly is good to do after a period of 6 months.
SMOKING/ CHEWING TOBACCO
It is important to know that all types of tobacco including cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco are harmful for your oral health.
Smoking or chewing tobacco leads to staining of teeth, bad breath and reduce taste sensation. If smoking habit is continued over a period of time, it reduces the healing capacity of the body and makes us more vulnerable to many infections.
Tobacco is carcinogenic in nature and also leads to lung diseases.
Chewing tobacco increases the risk of oral cancer, leading to deadly conclusions.
In addition to containing nicotine, which is an addictive they have been all been known to cause:
- gum disease
- tooth loss
- oral cancer (cancer of the lip, tongue)
- cancer of the esophagus
Almost 75% of gum disease in adults is caused by smoking. Also, your gums may recede as a result of smoking. This may lead to tooth decay and an increased sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks.
Smoking not only affects the ones doing it but also can cause similar problems in people around smokers. Passive smoking is also a huge health risk.
Alcohol drinkers have more chances of plaque accumulation, further leading to high risk for tooth loss. Alcohol abuse or excessive intake not only causes dryness of mouth, periodontal problems, staining of teeth but also cardiovascular and liver diseases.
Drinkers have been found to be at much higher risk of oral cancer, as compared to non-drinkers.
Irregular brushing habits can lead to huge array of oral health problems such as bad breath, oral infections, cavities, tooth loosening, etc.
After eating the PH of oral cavity reduces, activating the bad bacteria. Hence brushing or rinsing is always advised after meals to neutralize the oral environment.
Brushing your teeth twice daily and using mouthwash after brushing helps reducing accumulation of plaque on teeth. Plaque acts as an attachment platform and potential damage sites for bacteria.
Tongue cleaning should also be a regular part of our brushing regimen to reduce risks of diseases like candiasis( fungal infection) , hairy tongue, halitosis, etc.
People may overlook the effect of stress has on our oral health. However, our mouths can be just as affected by stress as the rest of our bodies are. Stress can have real consequences for our oral health as well as overall well-being.
Stress can make people neglect their oral-health routines. They may not brush or floss as often as they should or miss dental appointments.
People under stress sometimes make poor lifestyle choices like smoking, consuming too much alcohol and eating more sugary foods which can lead to serious issues including oral cancer, gum disease or tooth decay.
Stress is a contributing factor to other serious oral-health conditions, including:
Bruxism or teeth grinding. People under stress may clench or grind their teeth, especially during sleep. Over a long period of time, bruxism can wear down tooth surfaces. Teeth can also become painful or loose from severe grinding or prone to fractures.
Xerostomia, or dry mouth, can also be caused by medications to treat stress. Saliva is vital to keep your mouth moist; it washes away food and neutralizes the acids that are produced by plaque. If left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth.
(TMD) affects the jaws joints and groups of muscles that let us chew, swallow, speak and yawn. Symptoms may include tender or sore jaw muscles, headaches and problems opening or closing your mouth. Bruxism is a major cause of TMD clenching your jaw muscles can cause them to pain.
Insomnia or inability to sleep: It is also a common result of stressful lifestyle. Lack of sleep or proper rest to the body further accentuates the stress levels leading to vicious cycle of health issues.
- It may be impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, but you can take simple steps to reduce its impact on your health.
- Find relaxation techniques or exercises to help you cope with stress.
- Brush at least twice a day and floss daily.
- Schedule and keep regular appointments with your dentist.
- Talk to your dentist about getting a custom-fitted night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- If you don’t have time to exercise, a 30-minute walk every day is a good start.
- Get plenty of sleep
- Incorporating yoga or meditation into our routine
Nail biting, known as “onychophagia,” is a habit that can cause some harm to your teeth and overall oral health.
Some people’s nails can become so tough and resilient to damage that chewing on they can cause your teeth to get tiny chips or fracture the enamel of your teeth. Some people even believe that chewing on their teeth can cause their teeth to shift. The most common issue of nail biting is it transports bacteria to your mouth.
If you are considering an oral piercing, it is important to know the potential side-effects. Here are some of the complications that may occur:
- Your mouth contains a lot of bacteria. Oral piercing may lead to infection.
- Oral piercing may result in pain, swelling or gum tissue damage
- Your piercing may cause chipped or cracked teeth
- A pierced blood vessel may cause uncontrollable bleeding
There are consequences for your oral health when you decide to use recreational drugs. Here are some examples:
- Dry mouth: Marijuana, ecstasy, amphetamines, heroin and replacement therapies may decrease the saliva production that occurs in your mouth. This will in turn, increase your risk for gum disease and tooth decay.
- Tooth loss: Using tobacco, ecstasy, amphetamines, can lead to the constriction of the capillaries in your gums. This affects the attachment of the bone to the tissue of your teeth which may lead to tooth loss.
- Erosion and tooth decay: Ecstasy raises your body temperature and you will want to consume sugary liquids. Marijuana and heroin also cause sugar cravings. Frequent consumption of sugary drinks and sweets will weaken your tooth enamel. Vomiting after alcohol consumption may also erode your teeth.
If you are experiencing a condition that affects your tooth and gum health, effective oral health care at home can help. Dentists in India can recommend prevention or treatment plan that is best for you, and it is certain to include daily brushing and flossing.
Oral health is one factor that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Most dental clinics in India recommend some tips to help you look after your oral health:
- Schedule regular visits to your dentist.
- Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Check your mouth regularly to become familiar with what is normal for you. This will help you recognize when something in your mouth looks or feels different or abnormal.
- Avoid activities that might harm your mouth or teeth as listed above smoking, oral piercings and recreational drugs.
- Try to reduce the impact stress has on your oral and overall health.
- Wear a mouthguard ( sportsguard) to protect your teeth when you are playing sports.