At SmileArkansas Dr. Lee Wyant is able to impact the health of his patients in many ways. He works closely with dental specialists, medical doctors and other healthcare professionals to educate patients and the public at large about the health connection between the body and mouth.
Getting your teeth and gums healthy and having regular preventive appointments is so important to your overall health. Data from the Centers of Disease Control in Atlanta show that almost half of adult Americans have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth. If left untreated periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.
In addition to losing teeth, the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health reports people who have the chronic inflammatory periodontal disease have and increased incidence of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other systemic disease. In ways periodontal disease is a silent killer damaging other parts of your body.
Dr. Wyant cares about you wellness, through preventive dentistry, a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. “The research shows preventive dentistry can be lifesaving and impactful for your whole body health.”
Your diet can be a major contributor to health or chronic disease. There is much controversy in the public domain over what constitutes a healthy diet. What foods should we eat to promote health?
Dr. Wyant, a vegan, recommends watching the documentary Forks Over Knives which examines the claim that most degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled or even reversed by eliminating animal-based and processed foods form out diet. The film chronicles the personal journeys of pioneering researchers Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell. The book The China Study by Dr. Campbell, examines the relationship between the consumption animal products (including diary) and chronic disease such as coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes and many types of cancer.
There is now a general consensus that we should limit simple carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, rice and many processed foods in our diet. These foods can be quickly broken down by our body and produce excess glucose (fuel for our body) in our blood stream. The hormone insulin, produced by our pancreas, helps our body’s cells absorb blood glucose. It is believed that fluctuating levels of glucose in your blood stream contribute to inflammation and chronic disease. A diet of complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables, is recommended as they take longer to process and result in a more stable blood glucose levels.
In addition to proper nutrition through a healthy diet, we can impact our overall physical and mental health in numerous ways.
Avoid tobacco and excess alcohol consumption. Both are linked to chronic disease and many forms of cancer.
Limit our caloric intake. Eating healthy foods is not enough. Eating too much can result in weight gain which can stress the body.
Regular Exercise and Sleep. Regular exercise helps build the cardiovascular system improving heart health. The mantra use it or lose it certainly pertains our bodies. Exercise helps prevent many forms of chronic disease. Maintaining muscle, especially as we age, helps our body burn excess calories. Exercise has also been shown to reduce stress and forms of depression. Getting adequate sleep gives our body time to regenerate. Keeping a consistent time to go to bed and wake up helps maintain regularity of sleep.
Reduce Stress. Regular exercise is good for the body and mind by helping reduce the negative effects of stress. Meditation has been proven to be another tool to reduce stress. People who have meaningful work or volunteer on a regular basis have been shown to have lower stress and live happier and more fulfilled lives. Staying connected to family and friends is also helpful to maintaining a positive state of mind.