Adapting to a new environment can take a serious toll on your overall health. One area which is often neglected in this context is dental health. Stress and environmental factors can have a negative effect on your entire body. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate these effects.
Moving to a new country can be a very stressful experience, and there are quite a lot of stress-related dental health problems. The change in environment affects your oral health for a number of reasons. For one, it can put a real strain on your immune system. A tired immune system can lead to the appearance of canker sores or cold sores. It can also lead to teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. While there are some medical treatments for the first two, the only way to get rid of bruxism is to reduce stress levels or wear a night guard.
Changes in diet can also affect your oral health. When you move to a different country, the ingredients you’re going to find there, and even the balance of nutrients in basic ingredients, can be different. Take wine for example. The differences in the nutrients present in the soil can affect the taste of the wine. That’s why a Cabernet will taste differently from region to region.
It can take a while for your body to adjust to these changes, even if they seem insignificant at first. If you’ve already had problems due to sensitive teeth and gums, you probably know how easy it is to trigger them.
You’ll also probably encounter different eating habits when you move to a new location. If you want to get settled in the country you’ve moved to, you are going to want to adopt the local habits as well. But you should do this in stages. If the customs are very different than the ones you’re used to, your body might not be ready for the switch.
How to Spot Problems
The first thing to look out for is breath and saliva. Changes in how your breath smells and how your saliva looks are usually good indicators of oral health issues. They may also point to digestive problems as well. If the problems are persistent, or if they become more severe, you should definitely consult a doctor.
You should also pay attention to your teeth. If they feel unusually sensitive, or if they look glassy, then you might want to visit a dentist. There are many places where you can get affordable dental work. Your teeth may have weakened, and they might even chip or break if you don’t fix this problem quickly.
Mind Your Diet to Prevent Oral Health Problems
There are a number of foods that can irritate your gums and tongue. You shouldn’t dismiss the importance of your gums when it comes to dental health. Irritated gums can start retracting, leaving the more sensitive part of your teeth exposed.
Highly acidic foods, such as fruits and vegetables containing large amounts of vitamin C should be avoided until the irritation ceases. Same goes for sticky sugary treats and junk food. Potato chips and popcorn can be especially harmful since they can scratch and hurt your gums.
Dairy products can be very good at preventing some oral health problems. They’re easy to eat, so they don’t strain your teeth and gums, and they provide you with calcium, the building block of healthy teeth. However, the natural bacteria present in certain dairy products, such as cheeses and yogurts, can contribute to the appearance of aphthous stomatitis, a small non-contagious mouth ulcer, that can be quite unpleasant.
Drink Purified or Bottled Water
Water differs quite a lot from region to region. You should give your body some time to adjust to the changes in the mineral content of the water you drink. It’s best if you avoid tap water, even if it’s deemed safe to drink. Purified water usually contains smaller doses of minerals, and bottled water comes with a label that indicates what minerals and salts it contains, so you can control how much of them you ingest on a daily basis. There have been some rumors circulating that fizzy water is bad for your teeth. The truth is that both flat and fizzy water are perfectly safe. Your body will adjust in time, and it will be able to handle the difference in mineral content.
Consider Taking Dietary Supplements
If your dietary problems are persistent, you may want to consider taking supplements. A lack of calcium is generally the culprit when it comes to sensitive teeth.
If you’re avoiding acidic foods, you may want to take vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C prevents gum disease by boosting your immune system. It can also prevent plaque buildup, thus reducing the risks of suffering from receding gums.
If you’ve lived for a long time in one region, your body will have adapted to the environmental conditions of that area. When you move, it’s going to take a while for your body to learn how to deal with the new elements. Your dental health will be at risk, since it’s going to interact directly with the changes in your diet. Exposing yourself slowly and gradually to the new diet can help you adjust.