In my latest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, I teach people how to utilize these ten essentials that are necessary to live a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care, teach what I call “The 10 Commandments of Preventive Medicine. Here’s the fifth installment of this ten-part series.
These “Ten Commandments,” which I’ve long suggested to my patients and to my radio and television audiences, target exclusively the physical wheel. I suspect we could identify several more commandments related to preventing disease, but these are an excellent start.
Commandment #5 = Protect Your Dental Health
You probably already know that you can help your teeth stay healthy by brushing and flossing, getting regular dental care, using fluoride as recommended by your doctor or dentist, eating balanced meals, and limiting sugary snacks.
Here’s something you may not have heard: Infections of the gums, called gingivitis and periodontitis, has been associated with cardiovascular disease—including heart disease and stroke. Individuals with gum disease have increased levels of abnormal bacteria in their gums. These bacteria have been shown to be more likely than other bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
Now researchers believe that these bacteria release toxic substances—called endotoxins—that may explain the link between gum infections and cardiovascular disease. A visit to the dental hygienist every six months, therefore, is not only good for your dental health but also may improve your cardiovascular health.
Children, also, should learn good dental health practices in order to prevent the onset of periodontal disease later in life.
Mouth injuries also take a toll on our health. More than two million teeth are knocked out every year, many of them from sports-related injuries. Many of these injuries could have been avoided if the participant had worn a mouth protector. If you play a sport where there’s a risk of mouth injury, resolve to wear a mouth guard every time you play.
You may not find a lot of surprises here—but the real questions are these:
By beginning with a single step and then continuing to improve on a day-to-day basis, you’ll be on your way to becoming a highly healthy person.
Here are all 10 of the Preventive Medicine Commandments:
And, here are all 10 of the essentials that can be found in my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: