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Have You Visited Your Dentist Lately?

Smiling woman at dentistWhen is the last time you visited the dentist?

Are you avoiding it because you don’t have dental coverage or is it just not “top of mind”?

Dental hygiene can be critical to your overall health.  Do you ever notice a few drops of blood after flossing your teeth, or a pink toothbrush while brushing? Contrary to what most people think, it is never normal for your gums to bleed! Once you see blood, your gums are already inflamed and you have developed gum disease.   That puts you at risk for all sorts of other problems in your body; everything from allergies to cancer has been linked to gum disease.

So whether you already have gum disease or you want to prevent it, keep in mind these nine things that can be contributing factors.

Pregnancy. The hormone changes during pregnancy can actually make you more prone to develop bleeding gums. So make sure to see your dentist at least once during your nine-month wait for baby.

Your diet. A healthy, balanced diet is good for your heart, your liver, your skin… pretty much all of you. And it’s especially important for a health immune system and eat more fresh produce.

Smoking. Smokers are at increased risk of gum disease. But of course there are many other reasons to quit smoking, too.

Stress. Stress weakens your immune system and increases inflammation in the body. It will be difficult for your gums to heal while you’re battling chronic stress.

Family history. Some people carry genetic markers that place them at increased risk of gum disease. If your parents or grandparents suffered from bleeding gums, you need to be extra careful about your oral health.

Your diet is unbalanced. Those with crooked teeth, misaligned bites, or a grinding habit are at increased risk of gum disease. Too much pressure is applied to one area of the teeth and infection sets in.

Certain medications. Certain medications might interfere with blood flow to the gums, or promote “dry mouth”. Ask your doctor if you’re worried about your prescription medications.

Misery loves company. Since gum disease is basically caused by bacteria that have infected the gums, it might not surprise you that you can spread those bacteria via kissing, sharing drinks, or using someone else’s toothbrush.

Your habits. Even people who brush and check-up.

So, that brings us to our next point. What has been keeping you away from the dentist’s office? If you’re worried about the expense, you might be interested to know that you can enroll for dental insurance at any time during the year.  There is no open enrollment period for dental coverage. Often these insurance policies provide free or very low-cost cleanings and preventive services.

Since the bacteria that cause gum disease can get into your bloodstream, and locate a policy that fits your needs.