Katie Couric’s Take on Oral Health
Journalist, Author, and TV Personality Katie Couric recently spoke about the critical need to maintain your oral health. Here’s what she had to say.
Taking a seat in the dentist chair goes far beyond maintaining a healthy smile. Our mouths are the gateways to our bodies and can tell us more about our health than we may think. A dentist can detect nearly 120 medical conditions in their early stages.
Not caring for our teeth can lead to periodontal (gum) disease which has become all too common in our country, with one in every two Americans suffering from some form of gum disease. The inflammation caused by gum disease can be linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pancreatic cancer and preterm birth. Research also suggests that oral bacteria may be linked to heart disease, arterial blockages and stroke.
Unfortunately, 31 million Americans do not have access to dental health care. This ‘unspoken epidemic’ can be fought with prevention and education. By teaching children at a young age the importance of good dental care, they can fight long-term problems later in life. Visiting your dentist one to two times a year is vital to maintaining good oral hygiene. While a dentist visit can provide clues about your overall well-being, it is important to connect your dentist and your general physician to be sure that there are no gaps in your healthcare.
Creating healthy habits can help reduce your risk of gum disease. Focus on fighting plaque by flossing daily and staying away from sugar and foods that are high in protein and acidity. The average American spends around forty five seconds brushing their teeth, far shorter than the recommended two minutes. “Don’t rush the brush” as the consequences go far beyond your smile.