Friday, May 4, 2012

Life Style Diseases & Dental Health

Definition of Lifestyle Disease: A disease associated with the way a person lives. Lifestyle diseases include atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes; and diseases associated with smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. Regular physical activity helps prevent obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer, and premature mortality.

A recent disclosure by the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that 4.4 million people die due to raised cholesterol levels, 7.1 million people die because of hypertension, 4.9 million people die from tobacco use, and 2.6 million people die as a result of being overweight or obese. Lack of sleep leads to an increased production of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. A recent study showed that sleep-deprived individuals eat more sweet, salty, and starchy foods.

Dentally speaking the same life style factors that contribute to heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension also contribute to the two primary dental diseases: caries and periodontitis. Over eating, (frequent snacking), poor choice of foods (sugar, soda pop), lack of exercise (as in oral hygiene exercise), self neglect, smoking, drug abuse, failure to obtain professional care and failure to follow wise council (advice) all contribute to dental disease. Dental disease doesn't start in the mouth. It starts in the mind.

According to a recent joint media briefing sponsored by the American Medical Association and American Dental Association, there is a predominance of epidemiological evidence showing a two way association between oral health and systemic health. The strongest evidence shows people with diabetes have more severe periodontal disease, and once they have periodontal disease, their diabetes gets worse.

Ask your dentist for advice on developing a dentally healthy lifestyle. I'm confident they will promote a smart diet, good oral hygiene, and regular professional care. A positive lifestyle is paramount and will help you to live a longer, healthier, more rewarding life.

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