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Oral health is one factor that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you look after your oral health.

What should my mouth look like on the inside?
Between dental visits check your mouth for warning signs of gum disease and oral cancer.

Warning signs of gum disease may include:

Warning signs of oral cancer may include:

If you notice any of these signs, or have any concerns, call your dentist immediately.

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Stress
People may overlook the effect stress has on our oral health. However, our mouths can be just as affected by stress as the rest of our bodies are. Stress can have real consequences for our oral health as well as overall well-being.

Stress can make people neglect their oral-health routines. They may not brush or floss as often as they should or miss dental appointments. People under stress sometimes make poor lifestyle choices – smoking, consuming too much alcohol and eating more sugary foods – which can lead to serious issues including oral cancer, gum disease or tooth decay.

Stress is a contributing factor to other serious oral-health conditions, including:

It may be impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, but you can take simple steps to reduce its impact on your health.

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Smoking
It’s important to know that all types of tobacco including cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco are harmful for your oral health. In addition to containing nicotine — which is addictive — they have been all been known to cause:

  • gum disease
  • tooth loss
  • oral cancer (cancer of the lip, tongue)
  • cancer of the esophagus and voice box
  • pancreatic, esophagal, colon and bladder cancer
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Almost 75% of gum disease in adults is caused by smoking. Also, your gums may recede as a result of smoking. This may lead to tooth decay and an increased sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks.

Find out more about tobacco cessation and how your dentist can help.

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Oral Piercings
If you are considering an oral piercing, it’s important to know the potential side-effects. Here are some of the complications that may occur:

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Recreational Drugs
Did you know that there are consequences for your oral health when you decide to use recreational drugs? It’s true! Here are some examples:

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Prescription Drugs
It’s important to be aware of how prescriptions and over-the counter-drugs may affect your oral health. For example:

The following medications may cause damage to your gums:

Talk to your dentist about how the prescription drugs you are taking might affect your oral health.

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