As the temperatures start to get warmer, it becomes evident that summer is just around the corner. There’s something about the sun shining that makes people want to get outside, interact and be festive. It turns out that the sun has even more to offer. When it comes to your oral health, getting more sunlight has been found to promote healthy gums. Continue reading to learn how the summer sun can help combat an oral health issue that millions of Americans are facing!
The Increased Threat of Gum Disease
Nearly 65% of adult Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. The first stage of the condition is gingivitis, which is the inflammation and irritation of the soft tissue. Some of the more typical warning signs are gum bleeding, puffiness and tenderness when brushing.
The sooner the indicators are recognized and treated, the better the chances of preventing any permanent damage to the gums. If overlooked, gingivitis can soon develop into periodontitis (a more acute form of gum disease), which can result in damage to the connective bones and tissues that lie beneath the gum line. Over time, untreated gum disease can even lead to tooth loss and infection in other parts of the body.
How the Sun Promotes Oral Health
While there is no substitute for practicing consistent dental hygiene (brushing and flossing at least two times a day), getting adequate sunlight serves as an excellent supplement. When sunrays hit the skin, they trigger the production of vitamin D.
Here are some of its benefits:
- It strengthens your teeth and bones.
- It assists in boosting your immune function to fight infections.
- By helping to prevent gum disease, it fights against diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and dementia.
The Importance of Moderation
As with anything in life, getting too much sunlight can become detrimental. Overexposure can increase the risk of developing skin cancer. One way to protect yourself is to apply SPF15 sunscreen before heading outdoors. Additionally, if you plan on being outside for a while, it’s a good idea to wear protective clothing, wrap-around sunglasses and seek shade when possible.
How a Dentist Can Help
If you’ve noticed any of the above-listed symptoms, you should immediately reach out to a local dentist to request a visit. By taking action before summer gets into full swing, you can have your oral health fully assessed and schedule any treatments that may be needed.
With the help of your dentist, you can find the right combination of vitamin D and other best practices to ensure healthy gums this summer!
About the Author
Dr. Rodger Song is a graduate of the Baylor College of Dentistry. A consummate learner, he has taken over 500 hours of continuing education throughout his career, which has earned him the status of Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. While Dr. Song offers a host of restorative treatments, he places great emphasis on prevention so that his patients can enjoy life without any interruptions. He practices at Bridlewood Dental, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.