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Your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist has a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of health topics. If you have a question about your health or medication, chances are, your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist knows the answer.

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Is it true that dental hygiene can impact my overall health?

Answer from Express Scripts Canada Pharmacist:

Hi. I’m Corrine Beaulieu and I’m a Dental Claim Verification Representative with Express Scripts Canada.

Welcome to a special edition of Ask the Pharmacist.

Here is today’s question:

Is it true that dental hygiene can impact my overall health?

A nutritious diet and regular exercise play an important part in keeping us healthy. But did you know that a healthy mouth is also an important part of a healthy body?

Maintaining your teeth with proper, regular dental hygiene can prevent problems that are much bigger than a pesky tooth ache.

Poor dental hygiene can take its toll and have profound, negative affects on areas outside of your mouth and on your quality of life.

Besides your mouth, oral health issues can affect your physical, mental and social wellbeing.

Problems such as oral pain, missing teeth or oral infections can impact the way you speak, eat and socialize.

Tooth decay and gum disease can lead to or worsen other complications and impact your body’s overall health, including your heart, pregnancy, conditions like diabetes and chronic inflammation, such as arthritis.

Studies have shown that people who have poor oral health, such as gum disease or tooth loss, have higher rates of cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke, than people with good oral health.

In pregnancies, gum infections have been linked to premature births and low-birth weight in newborns.

Patients with diabetes can have a reduced resistance to infection, making the gums more susceptible to infection, which can adversely affect blood sugar.

Practicing proper dental hygiene is critical because it can prevent these types of oral diseases and dental problems and their associated complications. Prevention should be your primary focus!

You should see your dentist as soon as possible if you experience pain, bleeding gums, swelling, both inside and outside the mouth, tenderness, blisters and ulcers that don’t heal or noticeable changes in the colour or texture of your mouth. These may also be indications of a serious condition, such as mouth cancer or chronic gum disease and therefore should be addressed as soon as possible.

To keep your teeth and mouth feeling and looking its best, brush for at least two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and see your dentist every six months for a check-up and dental cleaning.

Your diet can be just as important as your oral dental care.

Keep your sugar intake to a minimum and moderate the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Smoking, or any type of tobacco use, should also be avoided.

Leading up to the holiday season is a great time to take extra care of your dental hygiene. Your teeth were designed to last a lifetime, so do your best to keep up with routine visits to your dentist and proper oral hygiene.

I’m Corrine Beaulieu and this has been a special edition of Ask the Pharmacist.

I wish you good health – and a great smile.


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