Veterans Day is on November 11th every year. It’s a great time to thank our Veterans for their service towards the country! This day gives veterans a rare opportunity to reflect on their services, family, and health-related issues.
Veterans should take a day out from their busy schedule on Veteran's Day, and in addition to reflecting on their service, they should think about their dental health. Veterans may not have made it a top concern while serving, but it's a topic that cannot be ignored by anyone.
As part of honoring Veteran's Day on November 11, here are 4 oral health risks veterans should know about:
1. Depression and Anxiety Veterans are at an increased risk of depression and anxiety which has a major effect on dental health. Stress causes the body to produce extra cortisol, which can disrupt teeth and gum tissue. Too much of this hormone production can lead to periodontal disease. Depression and anxiety can also affect the immune system, which can trigger additional health concerns.
2. Poor Oral Hygiene Ignoring oral hygiene and healthy food during periods of active duty can add up to big problems down the road. Lack of water and plant foods can be very taxing on the teeth and gums.
Recommended Reading: Why Maintaining a Good Dental Hygiene Is Important
3. Tobacco Smoke One of the worst habits that everyone should avoid is smoking tobacco, which degrades teeth and gums over time. Even worse, it can lead to cancer and shortness of breath.
4. Gingivitis and Trench Mouth Two of the most extreme dental health problems from lack of regular brushing and flossing are gingivitis and trench mouth. Gingivitis is a gum disease that involves loss of gum tissue to the point it could require surgery. Trench mouth, which was common during World War I, is a rare painful type of gingivitis.
The best way to avoid treatment for serious dental conditions is to brush and floss your teeth and visit a dentist for check-ups regularly. It's also wise to avoid consuming substances that leave stains on the teeth that are hard to remove. Smoking cigarettes and eating excessive sweets can lead to a variety of damage to your teeth. Too much neglect may result in loose teeth or gums, which ultimately may require false teeth or a bridge to hold your teeth in place.