In the northern hemisphere, the sun shines its strongest from late June until early September. It turns out that the bright sunlight is good for more than just getting a tan and having barbecues. Researchers have discovered that the rich solar beams can have a positive impact on your gum health. As you continue reading, learn about a common oral health threat that millions of Americans face and the benefits that the summer sun offers!
The Threat of Gum Disease
Well over half the adult population in America has some form of gum disease, which is the inflammation and infection of the soft tissue inside the mouth. The severity of the condition can vary, its first stage being gingivitis. If not addressed, the condition only gets worse and can result in permanent damage to the connective tissue and bone that stabilize your teeth. Over time, this can lead to tooth loss and a myriad of other health issues.
How the Sun Helps You Fight Back
While practicing excellent dental hygiene (brushing and flossing at least two times a day) is one of the keys to preventing gum disease, the sun can provide additional fortification. When its rays hit your skin, your body produces vitamin D.
The magical chemical offers the following benefits:
- It strengthens your teeth and bones.
- It assists in boosting your immune function to fight infections.
- By helping to fight gum disease, it aids in preventing diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and dementia.
The Importance of Moderation
Although the sun can be quite helpful, it’s important to avoid overexposure. One way to protect yourself is to apply SPF15 sunscreen before heading outdoors. Additionally, if you plan on being outside for a prolonged period, consider wearing wrap-around sunglasses and clothing that covers the majority of your body. It’s also a good idea to seek shade whenever possible.
Pay Your Dentist a Visit
If you’ve noticed any gum bleeding when you brush your teeth or eat, you should immediately reach out to a local dentist to schedule a visit. By doing so before summer gets underway, you can have your oral health fully assessed so that you can make any necessary changes or receive treatment. By being proactive, you can also receive some excellent tips about ways to safely get the vitamin D you need to boost your oral and total wellness.
With proper planning, execution and professional help, you can look forward to a fun and memorable summer, and healthy gums as well!
About the Author
Dr. Karl Arakelian earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Throughout his career, he has maintained a commitment to excellence, taking thousands of hours of continuing education, including time spent with SPEAR Education Study Club. Dr. Arakelian provides his patients with expert advice and care to boost their oral health at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.