Nutrition and Oral Health
Today’s hygiene appointment is so much more than cleaning teeth, detecting periodontal disease, checking for cavities, and screening for oral cancer. During your routine hygiene appointment at Saratoga Smile Care you will become aware of the many connections that your oral health has with your overall health and of your risk for future disease. Your mouth, teeth and gums, is a window to your body and its overall health; and nutrition plays a critical role!
During your routine hygiene appointment at Dr. Moreau’s office, you will learn how your stress affects the health of your mouth; how to correctly maintain a healthy mouth; how to achieve a more attractive smile; the effects of acidity on your body and be advised of the proactive steps you can take towards a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Moreau and his hygienist, Leisha work together to inform you on how to prevent disease and offer information on how to maintain a healthy mouth, a smart nutritional regime, great hygiene, and overall well-being.
Oral Signs of Poor Nutrition
If your body does not receive the proper amount of nutrients from the foods that you ingest, the mouth will reveal signs of your body’s distress. The state of your teeth and gums can often signal systemic problems including heart disease, celiac disease, diabetes, sinus infection, arthritis, acid reflux, alcoholism, just to name a few. Oral signs of the body’s deficiency in certain vitamins as B2, B3, B6, B12, D, C, A , iron, folic acid, amino acids and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc may also be seen during routine cleaning appointments. The more acidic the diet, the fewer nutrients are available for the body to function optimally.
Oral signs of Acidity
PH is a measurement of acidity and a healthy mouth is non-acidic, neutral or alkaline with a pH 7.0 of above. When the pH goes dips below this neutral point (at pH 6.5) there will be signs of tooth root softening and an increase incidence of root decay. As the acidity levels dip to a pH of 5.5 or lower, teeth begin to show signs of erosion, discoloring, cracking and denting in the chewing surfaces; and, an increase risk of cavities and periodontal disease. People who experience frequent dental problems, cavities, broken fillings, gum recession, periodontal disease or tooth sensitivity suffer because their own saliva is acidic in pH and as a consequence damage their own teeth and gums!
Salivary pH and Disease
Saliva is derived from body liquids and flows into the mouth and:
- lubricates the mouth and facilitates speaking
- it eliminates carbohydrates that could be broken down by bacteria forming plaque and removes acids from the bacterial processes
- contains bicarbonate, which acts as a buffer by neutralizing acid production and controlling plaque pH
- protects the enamel by using calcium and phosphates to remineralize teeth
Saliva reflects the pH and chemistry of the body. The effects of stress, hormone changes, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and obesity, makes the saliva more acidic losing it buffering capabilities. Long periods of acidity lead to increase in tooth decay, erosion, periodontal disease, and halitosis (bad breath). Testing the pH of the saliva provides clues as to the overall status of physical health and provides indicators as to the risk of periodontal disease and tooth decay.
Acidity and Disease
Excess acidity is the most common form of pH imbalance impacting your overall health as well as the health of your teeth, gums and supporting bone. Excess acidity is the result of poor diet, over-exercising, and chronic stress. The acidic environment of the body depletes our body of minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium hindering the body to buffer the acidity. Consequences of extended acid excess leads to tooth decay, periodontal disease, loss of bone supporting the teeth, decreases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, in addition to a list other ailments such as; weight gain, premature aging, low energy, mood swings. Chronic stress also contributes to a rise in acidic pH balance while stress reduction techniques help to reduce acidity.
By taking action and avoiding things and that make your mouth more acidic, you can prevent decay, improve your gum health and provide your body with the necessary nutrients to function optimally and improve the quality of your life.