Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS • Nutritional Periodontist
October 31, 2016
Quality of life is everything. Money, success, material possessions, and even love may mean little if you are unable to enjoy them. Many people have tried to define quality of life. Here is my definition:
Quality of Life is the ability to enjoy life as you wish with no physical, mental, or medical compromises that decrease the ability for you to do what you want to do for the remainder of your days.
So, how does gum disease figure into the quality of life?
Your oral health can affect the quality of your life (1). Gum disease can cause many unhealthy changes in your mouth. Unhealthy changes include mouth odor, bleeding gums, separations between teeth, loss of teeth, inability to chew food properly, difficulty with speaking, and unattractive smiles. These unhealthy changes can interfere with the way a person relates to life’s situations.
People with bleeding gums and receding gums report poorer quality of life (2,3). People embarrassed by their smiles or by their bad breath report poorer quality of life (4). People who are missing all or most of their teeth report poorer quality of life (5). These problems frequently affect the way people view themselves, deal with social interactions, and function in the workplace. These troubles often are misunderstood by the dental profession but are all-too-real for individuals who suffer from these oral complications.
If you could remove or reduce these mouth problems, you could move one step further to improving your quality of life. Here are my 4 solutions to do just that.
- Learn the exact problems that exist in your mouth and fix them.If something is broken, try to fix it. If something is not broken, leave it be. But, you may not know if something in your mouth is broken or not healthy until you seek professional advice. Dentists and dental specialists have been trained to evaluate for, and repair, damage in your mouth. My advice is to get several opinions from quality dental professionals to figure out any problem you may have. Once again, if something is broken, try to fix it.Unfortunately, most traditional dental professionals emphasize repair but not prevention. You will learn prevention in the next two steps.
- Change eating habits in order to support a healthy mouth and a healthy body going forward.I give my patients my 30-Day Reset Diet to help them get on board a healthy eating lifestyle. This can be tweaked after a month or so to become your go-to way of eating for the rest of your life. This is the way I eat, and it has significantly changed my life.
- Implement a daily regimen to keep your mouth healthy.While most dental healthcare professionals will tell you to brush harder and to floss more frequently, there are specifics about cleaning your mouth that will make all the difference. In my office, I demonstrate to each of my patients how to clean his or her mouth effectively everyday.
- Spread the good word.Educate your family and friends about the methods and lifestyle to prevent gum disease and other oral problems – all of which will greatly improve their quality of life. I wrote an article that was published in Well Being Journal in 2015 titled, “Born To Be Healthy”. You may like to read it and share it with those you love and care about.
The Time Is Now
No matter where you are in life, it is never too late to start the rest of your life on a better track. C. S. Lewis said it best, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”