Just like a car or home maintenance regimen, preventative oral hygiene practices can help your body avoid other serious illnesses. Poor personal dental care has been tied to gum disease and tooth decay. More recently, issues such as lung disease, diabetes, and even premature birth are being associated with inflammatory disorders, such as periodontal disease. Working with a trusted dentist to prevent these issues is the best way to keep you and your family healthy and smiling brightly.
Many people complain about tooth pain, gum tenderness or bleeding and pass them off as sources of minor discomfort. The reality, however, is that these issues can be signs of much larger problems. According to recent studies, backed up by professionals in the field, there is a direct link between gum disease (periodontal disease) and serious medical issues – whether it is a mild form of gingivitis or a severe case of peridontitis, wherein the inflammation affects the tissue in the jaw, surrounding the teeth.
Bacteria in the mouth are transferred to other parts of the body through the bloodstream, moving potentially harmful organisms to the heart, lungs and brain. Simply put, these issues leave a patient with a chronic low-grade infection that can be spread from one part of the body to the other.
Many also believe that these infections in the mouth trigger an immune system response which produces inflammation in other parts of the body. A scraped knee that is left untreated can eventually spread infection throughout the body, and bacteria in the mouth are no different. Serious issues associated with inflammation such as diabetes, pregnancy complications, cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer’s have been linked to periodontal issues in some capacity. Treating this source of inflammation may not only help your teeth but your overall wellness. A dentist specializing in family dental services can ensure that your entire family is taken care of.
Making oral hygiene a priority is the best way to increase overall health. Visits to the dentist should be made every six months to check for any of these bacterial issues, but also to look for cavities, plaque build-up and other potentially harmful issues. After the appointment, you should continue to:
* Brush twice daily. Using fluoride toothpaste is also recommended for adults.
* Floss daily.
* Refrain from sharing cups with someone who may have periodontal disease.
* Refrain from using tobacco or consuming alcohol, as these negatively affect the tissues in your mouth and other parts of the body.
* Watch for sores or pain in the mouth that lasts more than two weeks.
When an issue like this is diagnosed or detected, often through pain free dentistry, it is important for you to consult with both your dentist and general practitioner to find the best way to treat both the symptoms and condition. Good dental hygiene is always recommended if you are currently diagnosed with heart disease, osteoporosis or respiratory disease or are considering becoming pregnant.