Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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3 Surprising Reasons to Brush and Floss

toothbrushesIf you’re obese, drink carbonated beverages and/or you’re a guy, you have surprising incentives to brush your teeth, watch what you eat and drink, see your dentist for regular checks and alert your health care provider if your gums bleed. 

 
 

 
 

Bubble, fizz, erode
Drinking large amounts of carbonated beverages can damage teeth because the citric acid in carbonated beverages erodes the glossy, protective enamel on the outside of your teeth, making them vulnerable to cracking, sensitivity and discoloration. Erosion is caused by diet soda as well as sugar-sweetened beverages.

Researchers’ recommendations:

  • Minimize soda intake, drink water instead.
  • After drinking soda, chew sugar-free gum or rinse with water to help return the mouth’s acidity to normal. 

Obesity, Inflammation and Infected Gums
One in three Americans is obese, increasing risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and, you guessed it, gum disease. The problem here is that the bodies of obese people make an excess amount of cytokines, proteins that cause inflammation. These cytokines can directly damage gum tissue and also reduce blood flow to gums, preventing healing. Chronically infected gums produce their own cytokines that kick the level of inflammation up yet another notch in the bloodstream and body, putting obese people at risk for even more inflammatory disease.

Researchers’ recommendations:

  • Remove plaque through daily brushing, flossing, rinsing and professional cleanings.
  • Visit a dentist once or twice a year to check for gum disease and strategize on a home care plan to prevent and calm periodontal infections.

Gum Disease and Men’s Health
Recent research found that many men with chronic gum disease – periodontitis – also suffer dysfunction in their male organs. Again, the culprit seems to be inflammation. Gum disease causes (and is created by) inflammation that damages the elastic lining of blood vessels.  Previous studies on vascular health have found a link between chronic gum disease and systemic vascular diseases including coronary heart disease, diabetes and stroke.  The recent studies show a link between gum disease and male reproductive function, though it is not known if periodontitis actually contributes to the dysfunction or whether it’s a twin symptom of poor vascular health.

Still, the message is clear. The health of your mouth is connected with the health of the rest of your body. If your gums are bleeding, it’s an overall health problem, not an insignificant isolated sore tooth, so be sure to let your dentist or health care provider know and work with them on a health plan to deal with it.

Visit the Infection In Your Face exhibit in Wellbody Academy's Germnasium to experience first-hand (almost literally) an oozing open sore projected on your arm that will drive home the connection between gum disease and overall health.

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Guest Sunday, 20 April 2014