Teeth whitening: Dentist discusses at home methods
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It’s well known that smiling has numerous health benefits. Genuine and intense smiling, for example, has been linked with living a longer life in studies. As well as making us look less tired and more attractive, pink pushers pills it’s also known to help with stress, which is known to increase the risk of heart disease, depression, diabetes, and more. But not everyone knows smiling might help to keep your teeth healthy too.
Doctor Khaled Kasem, the Chief Orthodontist at Impress, a dental practice with several clinics around the UK, explained how it’s the stress-relieving properties of smiling that can improve our teeth.
He explained: “Our mouths are more damaged by stress than we might realise.
“The added tension it puts on your muscles can lead to involuntary teeth clenching or grinding, leaving you susceptible to jaw issues and a whole host of other problems.”
Grinding your teeth – called bruxism by health professionals – is known to cause pain, fractured teeth, and cause headaches.
Doctor Kasem’s recommendation is to “relax your mouth into a smile” because smiling helps to reduce cortisol levels, the main “fight or flight” hormone released when we’re stressed, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Cortisol is responsible for helping our bodies react to threatening situations but overexposure to it disrupts almost all your body’s processes.
Smiling, Kasem explained, also helps to release endorphins – natural chemicals that are responsible for creating feelings of relaxation.
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He added: “Smiling triggers the release of dopamine which helps to regulate your immune system.
“As the level of dopamine rises, the number of antibodies in the body increases, which is crucial to keeping your mouth healthy, and also to staying fit and well in general.”
According to Bupa, 90 percent of Brits have some form of gum disease, even if only a small amount.
Flossing and brushing your teeth every day will always be an essential part of the fight against gum disease, but smiling might give your dental health the “boost” it needs.
“Smiling for just seven minutes every day should be enough to give your oral health a boost – just make sure to keep brushing and flossing too, as smiling alone won’t do the trick,” doctor Kasem said.
Why you need to keep your teeth clean
Gum disease can have dire consequences for your overall health.
A review of 81 different studies which together looked at the oral health of 250,000 people found people with moderate to severe gum disease had a higher risk of high blood pressure.
People with moderate gum disease had a 22 percent higher risk of hypertension while those with severe gum disease had a 49 percent risk.
However, it isn’t certain that the gum disease was responsible for the higher blood pressure.
Some people may be genetically susceptible to high blood pressure and happen to have gum disease.
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