Did you know that actions you take to better your oral health today can have a dramatic impact on your overall constitution? Research has shown links between oral concerns like gum disease with conditions such as pneumonia, pancreatic cancer, pregnancy complications, and more. Because of this, making good oral health practices a priority should be included in any resolutions you have this New Year. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, take the following actions and be sure to visit our periodontist in Atlanta, GA, Dr. Gregg Codelli, regularly.

Manage Stress

The presence of excessive amounts of stress is associated with several oral health concerns such as gum disease, bruxism (clenching jaws and grinding teeth), and temporomandibular disorders. In order to reduce the chances of facing these conditions, take action to cut down on the anxiety, frustration, anger and nervousness in your life. Many people have noticed a reduced level of stress upon starting a yoga or meditation practice, but you may have to experiment to find a method that works for you.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol has a high sugar content, leading to a friendly environment for bacteria and plaque to grow. In addition, there is a proven association between certain head and neck cancers and high alcohol ingestion. Because of these links, taking steps to limit your intake of alcohol can have positive affects on your oral health and health in general. Also, when you drink, try to alternate sips of water in between other beverages. This can rinse away acid and sugars that can otherwise be potentially harmful.

Optimize Eating Practices

Most people are aware of the dangers excessive consumption of sugary foods can pose to your mouth and gums. If you must eat foods with added sugars, serve them with meals and not on their own as snacks. Also:

Avoid chewy, sticky foods: dried figs, jellybeans, raisins, etc. These adhere to teeth and are hard for saliva to rinse away. If you eat them, brush immediately afterwards. Opt for healthy snacks: fruits and vegetables, especially water-voluminous ones such as celery and cucumbers, are great for snacking. However, try to keep eating between meals to a minimum and take in most of your calories at mealtimes. Choose water instead of soda or juice. Beverages that contain sugar can pose a threat to the health of your teeth and gums.

For more tips or to schedule an appointment, call the offices of Dr. Codelli, a leading periodontist in Atlanta, GA, today at 470-235-5519.