We all know that not brushing or eating sugary foods are predictors of bad oral health, but there are a few risk factors that are correlated with bad oral health that might surprise you.
1. Being male – Men lose more teeth, sooner than women. This is in part because men are not as proactive as women in taking care of oral and general health. Men are more likely than women to wait until there is something painfully wrong with their teeth before going to the dentist, while women make regular visits in order to be proactive.
2. Taking medication – One of the side effects of many medications is a dry mouth. Dry mouths are the perfect homes for cavity and gum disease-causing bacteria.
3. Tobacco – Smoking or chewing tobacco not only puts you at risk of suffering from oral cancer but is also correlated with gum disease.
4. Playing sports – Playing sports without a mouthguard puts you at risk of getting serious mouth injuries. Additionally, during exercise, the mouth becomes dry and more susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria.
So how can you avoid bad oral health?
1. Be proactive about your health. Don’t wait until something is wrong to go to the doctor or dentist.
2. If you are getting a dry mouth from taking medication or getting a lot of exercise you can stimulate saliva flow by chewing sugarless gum, especially gum containing xylitol.
3. Stop using tobacco. It’s easier said than done, but it’s one of the best things you can do for oral and overall health.
4. Wear a mouthguard while playing sports in order to avoid injury.