Why Healthier Teeth May Mean Healthier Lungs

A dental teeth modelPracticing proper dental hygiene is important for not only the health of your teeth, but also the health of your lungs. This is especially true if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Not only are people with COPD at a higher risk for developing gingivitis, tooth decay and periodontal disease, not caring for their teeth can also cause a flare up of COPD symptoms.

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Bacteria in the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs and a study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that periodontal disease may increase the risk of respiratory infections like COPD. Protect the health of your teeth and lungs by implementing these simple tips:


1. Replace your toothbrush often. If you have COPD or are prone to other respiratory infections, replace your toothbrush frequently to limit the growth of bacteria. Using a newer brush should also help remove more plaque and give you better results after brushing.

2. Floss daily. Brushing alone will not remove plaque build up and food stuck in between the teeth. Floss everyday, ideally after each meal.

Avoid These Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes

3. See your dentist. Most dentists recommend dental visits twice a year, however, with COPD seeing your dentist more often (maybe three times a year) could be a better schedule. Your dentist can closely monitor your oral health and catch any issues sooner rather than later.

4. Drink plenty of water. A common side effect of COPD is dry mouth and this can cause dehydrated oral tissue that leads to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Drink water to keep your gums hydrated. Water can also help to rinse away food particles.

5. Stop smoking. Smoking increases bacteria in the mouth and should be avoided or stopped if you have COPD.


Visit the BlackDoctor.org COPD center for more articles. 

5 Signs Of Calcium Deficiency You Shouldn’t Ignore

tired woman workingIf you have strong bones and teeth, you can thank calcium for that. Calcium is an essential mineral that your body needs not only for bone and tooth health, but your body also uses calcium to stabilize blood pressure and regulate the heartbeat. Most calcium is stored in the bones and as the bones begin to thin with age, calcium is lost. This is normal and usually replaced daily with the foods we eat, but how can you tell if you’re not getting enough calcium?

To decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis or calcium deficiency disease (hypocalcemia), take note of these calcium deficiency symptoms.

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1. Muscle cramps: Are your muscles aching, even when you haven’t worked out? Muscle aches and cramps are one of the first signs of a possible calcium deficiency. Calcium regulates muscle contractions and aches specifically in the arms, underarms and thighs during normal movement (like walking) can be an indication.

2. Brittle nails: Calcium helps nails to grow and strengthen nails. If your nails are weak and slow to grow, this could be a sign you aren’t getting enough calcium.

3. Insomnia: Yes, no sleep could be a sign of something wrong. Not getting enough calcium during the day may keep you up at night. A lack of calcium may prevent you from sleep or prevent you for having restful, deep sleep.