In today’s environment, people are more conscious of taking care of themselves. While there are many things we cannot control, there are ways you can empower yourself and your family to stay healthy. Instead of jumping on the latest trend, it is important to follow proven practices that support your entire mouth and body.
Dr. Kirakosan at New Look Dental recognizes that oral health and general health are closely intertwined. People of all ages can benefit from improving their oral care as it is proven to tie directly to your overall wellness and immunity. What occurs in your mouth can affect your body, and vice versa. If you have healthy teeth and gums, it is probable that you will be physically and mentally vital as well!
When we conduct exams, we check your entire oral cavity (not just your teeth!) for conditions that may be associated with underlying conditions or other medical issues. While we can certainly provide treatments, we’d much rather help you prevent gum disease, or at minimum detect gum disease early.
In addition to your teeth and gums, we examine the supporting tissue. This includes the chewing muscles, jaw, lips, mucosal lining of your entire mouth and throat, tongue, salivary glands, soft and hard palates.
Your mouth can tell us a lot about your habits. We can analyze saliva to discover clues that indicate systemic disease. When people undergo extreme diets, avoid certain types of foods, or fail to eat a balanced diet, their saliva may reflect some nutritional deficiencies.
In our exams, we check for signs of certain cancers, diseases, infections, immune disorders, or injuries. Periodontal disease is usually a key indicator of systemic disorders. Ideally, you are getting regular checkups, but schedule a dentist appointment posthaste if you see any of these signs of periodontal disease:
- Swollen, red gums around teeth (red hue may range from bright, to dusky to purplish)
- Gums that bleed easily and feel tender
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth and tooth loss
The sooner you start periodontal disease treatment, the sooner you can bolster your oral and general health.
Systemic diseases can conversely affect oral health. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, pregnancy challenges, respiratory infections, and stroke are shown to have a correlation with periodontal disease. Doing your best to take measures to prevent and manage these conditions is vital for your oral health.
Cardiovascular Disease + Stroke
The California Dental Association cites the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research that states individuals with periodontal disease have a higher likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. Relevant symptoms include bone loss in tooth sockets and periodontal disease bacteria.
Diabetes and periodontal disease are proven to be strongly linked. The fact that diabetics experience difficulty fighting infections heightens their chances of developing periodontal disease. Those with periodontal disease have challenges stabilizing their glucose levels. According to Diabetologia Journal, brushing three times a day can reduce the bacteria, inflammation and risk of diabetes by 8%.
Candidiasis, inflammation, bleeding and lesions are often found in HIV+ patients as a result of compromised immune system functioning.
A routine oral exam and dental x ray is often when osteoporosis is first detected. The manifestation of osteoporosis in the jaw and face highlights the correlation between oral health and bone loss.
Underweight and premature babies may be an indicator of periodontal disease in the birth mother. The incidence of disease is possibly due to hormone surges that cause gum disease and inflammation during pregnancy. Expectant mothers would be wise to add strict oral hygiene to their pregnancy care list.
Patients battling chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia exhibit a higher concentration of infectious agents which can contribute to periodontal disease. The most vulnerable population includes those with compromised immune systems and the elderly.
As always, a preventive approach with optimal self-care is ideal. At New Look Dental, finding oral and systemic diseases early through regular dental exams is the next best way to encourage optimal well-being and longevity. We’re here to help you take charge of your health so you can continue to live a long, health-filled life.