Veterans can have unique health care requirements. While at war, preventive care and dental health in general may not be their top priority. With often extreme conditions experienced over a long period of time, veterans can have some unique oral health risks. So, in honor of Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, we wanted to cover the top three oral health concerns for veterans.
When you’re anxious or depressed, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol. This compound harms your teeth and gums, contributing to the risk for periodontal (gum) disease. There’s also evidence that stress and depression impair your immune system, making chronic infection throughout your body—including in your mouth—more likely.
Poor oral hygiene and nutrition while engaged in active duty combined with limited access to water, fresh fruits and vegetables and rest may have wreaked havoc on your teeth and gums. If you use tobacco, try and quit – the sooner the better. For lack of brushing and flossing, see your dentist as soon as you can. Start today with brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing once a day. With efforts now, you can get your oral health back on track quickly.
Trench mouth is a painful form of gingivitis. The term “trench mouth” comes from World War I, when the disorder was common among soldiers. This disorder is rare, but when it does occur, trench mouth most often affects persons ages 15 – 35. If you are experiencing pain in your mouth of any kind, consult your dentist as quickly as possible.
For more information about dental care and possible benefits from the VA, click here: http://www.va.gov/dental/.
Please accept our thanks for defending our country; Happy Veterans Day!