Alumni at Home

Your home life is everything. There’s nothing more important than you and your family staying well and enjoying life. Here are some articles to help you do just that!

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Tooth or consequences

Avoiding the dentist’s office could land you in the doctor’s office.

Good oral hygiene, including regular dental checkups and cleanings, daily brushing and flossing, can do a LOT more than just give you a nice smile, help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, preserve the shape of your face and retain your teeth as you age.1  

Practicing preventative oral health care can also help prevent some serious medical conditions, including heart attacks and strokes, pneumonia, digestive problems and pre-term births, all of which have been linked to bacteria found in the mouth.1

In fact, at any given time, your mouth is teeming with hundreds of types of bacteria – some of them good, some of them bad. Some can form plaque along the gumline and between your teeth, which can lead to gingivitis. When left untreated, this can result in a serious gum disease called periodontitis, and your mouth can then become host to other health concerns.2

Think of your mouth as a gateway to the body, and a window into the body’s overall health. Conditions present in the mouth can help identify some medical concerns before other symptoms appear, such as HIV/AIDS and diabetes.1  Early detection by a dental professional can be key to successful treatment.

The Alzheimer’s connection

Poor oral care has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Though the connection is not entirely clear, some of the same bacteria found in certain types of gum disease have also been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.1

The Mouth-Gut connection

The mouth-gut connection has long been established in the medical community. Bacteria in the mouth can travel to the digestive tract, where they can contribute to stomach upset, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems. Alternately, bacteria present in the gut can travel to the mouth where they can cause oral health problems.3 Regular dental visits can help prevent or identify some of these issues.

Why incorporate oral health prevention?1, 3

  • Help give you an attractive smile
  • Help prevent tooth decay
  • Help prevent gum disease
  • Help retain the shape of your face
  • Help keep your teeth as you age
  • Help prevent tooth pain and sensitivity
  • Help prevent bad breath
  • Help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes
  • Help reduce the risk of pneumonia and keep your lungs healthy
  • Help prevent digestive issues
  • Help prevent pre-term and under-weight births
  • Help identify general health conditions like HIV/AIDS and diabetes
  • Help prevent more expensive health bills down the road

The prescription drug connection

Certain prescription medications can affect your oral health too. For instance, some medications used to treat osteoporosis, or bone loss, can carry a risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.4

Some other medications may reduce the saliva necessary for a healthy mouth and cause a condition known as “dry mouth”. Talk to your doctor about any prescription medications you’re on that may increase your risk for “dry mouth” and steps you can take to minimize that side effect.4

Oral health prevention checklist5, 6, 7

√ Have regular dental checkups and cleanings twice a year

√ Don’t delay or postpone dental procedures

√ Obtain dental insurance to help reduce out-of-pocket costs

√ Brush your teeth twice daily

√ Your tongue is a magic carpet for bacteria, brush it too!

√ Floss twice daily

√ Rinse daily with an anti-bacterial mouthwash

√ Replace your toothbrush every four months to avoid bacterial buildup

√ Avoid smoking which is linked to oral disease and mouth cancer

√ Avoid excessive alcohol consumption which can dehydrate your mouth

√ Limit your intake of sugary treats, foods and drinks

√ Eat a healthy balanced diet

√ Consider oral health-boosting vitamins and supplements such as A, C, D and calcium


Individual circumstances may vary. Always check with a medical professional to ensure these strategies are right for you.


1 “Oral health: A window to your overall health”, The Mayo Clinic, 2021.’s%20natural%20defenses,tooth%20decay%20and%20gum%20disease

2 “The Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene”, Oral-B, 2021.

3 “The Bacterial Connection between the Oral Cavity and the Gut Diseases”, National Institutes of Health, 2020.

4 “Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)”, Cleveland Clinic, 2021.

5 “Oral Health Tips”, CDC, 2021.

6 “6 Vitamins and Minerals That Help Strengthen Teeth”, Sensodyne, 2021.

7 “Dental and Oral Health Best Practices”, Healthline, 2022.

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