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Looking after your oral health during a pandemic

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

Your oral health can be a reflection of your general overall health. Take the time to ensure yours is in tip top condition.

Your mouth can serve as a window to the rest of your body providing signals of general health disorders. Likewise persisting oral conditions and inflammatory processes within the mouth can have an impact on overall health and disease.

Ulcers and pale and bleeding gums can be indicators of more serious disease processes present in the body.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) has been associated with a number of systemic conditions. Though the biological interactions between oral conditions such as periodontal disease and other medical conditions are still not fully understood, it is clear that major chronic diseases – namely cancer and heart disease – share common risk factors with oral disease.

Some steps we can take that are within our control to manage oral health during this period of self isolation.

Most people will find they have some extra time on their hands while they must stay at home and although this can be a period of extra stress, dealing with the social isolation and the anxiety of a possible reduction in work hours or loss of work it is still just as important to care for your oral health.

Important considerations should be given to trying to maintain a healthy diet, rich in fruit and vegetables.

Minimise smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Try to control levels of stress by still getting out of the house for some daily exercise and fresh air - even if it is only for a short walk around your block.

It is also a great time to think about your technique while you are brushing your teeth. Usually this is only given a couple of minutes before you rush out the door to work or briefly at the end of the day. Now with a bit more time on your hands, take the time to floss all teeth before you brush. Really concentrate on the bristles of your brush reaching all teeth, including those at the back of your mouth and getting all surfaces of your teeth - right down on the inside back surfaces of your teeth beside your tongue and on the top biting surfaces of your teeth. Taking the time to think about these things now will really help your with your daily brushing habits and oral health for the long term.

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