Oral Hygiene: How Malnutrition Affects Your Oral Health Mountainview Periodontics and Periodontics of Cherry Creek Maryanne Butler DDS, MS Amy Riffel DDS, MS, gum disease, oral health, Toothbrushes and oral care toolsKeeping up with your health is not always easy since you may need to go to several different doctors or specialists for various reasons. Luckily, your teeth are a different story. With help from your dentist, you can ensure that your teeth stay healthy and clean. Because October is National Dental Hygiene Month and also National Malnutrition Week (October 4-10th), we want to focus on how there is a link between Oral Hygiene: How Malnutrition Affects Your Oral Health.


Seems strange to say but your diet can affect your oral health and your oral health can affect your diet. It’s a double-edged sword. But, what does this mean? Well, if you eat foods that contain high amounts of sugar or acidity, your teeth are more vulnerable to cavities and even the enamel of your teeth getting worn down (which again, makes you more susceptible to cavities). So it is important to watch what you eat and also make sure you are brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, drinking plenty of water, and attending your bi-annual dentist appointments for a cleaning and a check-up. 


However, according to a recent article by Westhealth, they have found that “Impaired oral health, such as an inability to chew or swallow food, having missing teeth or gum disease, can negatively impact nutritional intake (e.g., consuming fewer meals or meals with lower nutritional value) leading to poor nutritional status and increased risk of malnutrition. Being malnourished, or having a lack of proper nutrients, can negatively affect the mouth (e.g., teeth and gums) leading to increased risk of gum disease and other oral health-related problems.”


Studies have found that currently, 19% of older adults have untreated tooth decay and an estimated 60% of seniors have periodontal (gum) disease. And, nearly 1 in 5 older adults have lost all their teeth and 1 in 3 has lost six or more teeth due to tooth decay or gum disease. This is why it is important to keep up with good oral hygiene. 


Because this is National Hygiene Month, we want to highlight our hygienist. Crystal is our wonderful hygienist. If it has been a while since you have had a cleaning, be sure to schedule your appointment with them today. We look forward to seeing you!