An estimated four in 10 employed Americans report working 50+ hours every week, according to research done by CNN Money. This is certainly not the first time this alarming trend of overworked, overscheduled and time-crunched Americans has been mentioned. The workplace is only becoming more competitive and cut-throat as more and more professionals join in the all-work-no-play mentality in an attempt to keep up with their peers.
To add to already busy days, hobbies, families, social lives, and self-care routines have to be worked in somewhere. So, how does the average American fit all of this into only 24 hours a day? The bottom line is they aren’t.
In 2014 only 62% of adults aged 18-36 reported visiting the dentist according to the Centers for Disease Control. That means 38% of adults in the United States didn’t visit the dentist all year. An even more alarming statistic according to the American Dental Association is that an alarming 37% of adults ages 18 to 24 have gone two or more days without brushing their teeth at all.
At the end of an exhausting day, it can be so easy to fall into bed and not get up. In the morning, in the mad dash to get out the door, it can be forgotten again. This cycle is so easy to perpetuate, and studies have shown self-care habits are some of the first to go out the window when our lives take a turn for the hectic.
Dr. Kurt Williams, DDS, of Central Kansas Dentistry, lives by the motto ‘Healthy Gums
“More than 3 million people in the US are diagnosed with gum disease every year. The leading cause is poor oral hygiene which is totally preventable. This is where visits to your dentist twice a year really make a difference. The pockets surrounding your teeth are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and even if you brush and floss twice a day, sometimes you just can’t get every little piece of debris. Professional cleanings by a dentist with high attention to detail ensure that every surface and every hiding place is scrubbed clean regularly. If your gums are bleeding when you brush and floss you may already be suffering from Periodontitis (gum disease).”
Gum disease isn’t just concerning for your gums, teeth or even just your mouth. Not only is it the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, but it increases risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, dementia and even complications in pregnancy.
Other signs of gum disease include swollen gums, areas of the mouth where the gum is pulling away from the teeth, widening spaces between teeth, bad breath, toothaches, tender gums and tooth loss.
It seems evident that with lifestyles this hectic, Americans have to cut corners somewhere. Healthy diets, good oral hygiene habits, and physical exercise are imperative to maintaining the healthy mind and body needed to get through those 50-hour work weeks and the ever increasing stress levels that coincide.