ORAL HEALTH ISSUES CAN EXTEND BEYOND YOUR TEETH AND GUMS
Every area of the human body is connected, so issues in one area can have a much wider impact. In this article, our team at DentalWorks - Wake Forest explores the connections between your oral health and your general health. Multiple research studies are being conducted across the globe that are trying to figure out how oral health affects general health, as well as how general health can impact oral health. Poor oral health (particularly periodontal disease) can increase your risk of ending up with heart disease, make it harder to manage blood glucose, and, in pregnant women, affect the infant's health. All of these are great reasons to ensure you have a suitable oral health routine at home and schedule regular visits with a dental practitioner in Wake Forest, NC.
HOW DOES YOUR ORAL HEALTH AFFECT YOUR GENERAL HEALTH?
The mouth is a gateway to the heart, stomach, and other vital organs. It makes sense that a disease or inflammation in the mouth can quickly spread to other parts of the body. Here are some of the biggest conditions that may be affected by your oral health:
- HEART PROBLEMS
There is data that shows that swelling in the mouth (typically from periodontal disease) can increase someone's risk of having a heart attack or cerebrovascular accident (stroke). Studies are being done to investigate the idea that bacteria in your mouth can trigger inflammation in the arteries.
People with diabetes need to pay careful attention to their gum health to help control their blood sugar levels. Recurring or untreated gum disease can make it more difficult for the body to manage blood sugar. If you have a problem with managing your diabetes, set up an appointment with a dental practitioner in Wake Forest, NC to see if periodontal disease might be part of the problem
- ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
Researchers are looking at the connection between good oral health and better cognitive function in seniors. In patients who have Alzheimer's disease, they have found a potential link to poor oral health. Alzheimer's disease and decreased cognitive function often lead to more dental problems, probably because the patient has difficulty keeping to his or her home oral care routine.
- PREGNANCY ISSUES
The fluctuations in hormones during gestation can put women at higher risk for developing periodontal disease. Pregnancy gingivitis causes inflamed gums that bleed easily. Having advanced gum disease (periodontitis) during pregnancy has been linked to early delivery and underweight newborns. This is why it's quite important for women to practice good oral hygiene every day to avoid gum disease and other oral health problems.
IMPORTANT ORAL HEALTH STEPS
You have a lot of things you can do to improve or maintain your oral health and, in turn, your general health. These begin with a good oral hygiene regimen at home and visiting your dental practitioner in Wake Forest, NC regularly.
- TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT YOUR ORAL HEALTH
If your general practitioner is treating you for diabetes or heart disease, he or she should know about any oral health issues. Periodontal disease can have a particularly big impact on your overall health.
- SCHEDULE DENTAL CLEANINGS TWICE A YEAR
In order to remove the plaque and tartar that will often build up on your teeth, you should visit a dentist in Wake Forest, NC at least two times a year to get a dental cleaning. During your cleanings, your dentist will examine your gum pockets and check for other signs of gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease).
- TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY
When speaking to your dental practitioner, be open and honest about your medical history and all of your existing conditions. Tell him or her if you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, or periodontal disease. You might need to schedule oral health examinations more often than once a year.
- BRUSH YOUR TEETH TWO TIMES A DAY
At least two times a day, you should be cleaning your teeth for a minimum of two minutes with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Make sure you aren't scrubbing too hard with your toothbrush, since it can wear down your enamel and cause gum recession.
- FLOSS YOUR TEETH EVERY DAY
Flossing is especially important in preventing periodontal problems. Adults and children should floss at least once a day to remove the plaque and food particles from between your teeth. To make sure you are flossing correctly, ask your dental practitioner or hygienist to demonstrate the best way to floss during your next appointment.
- ADDRESS ORAL HEALTH ISSUES PROMPTLY
If your dentist identifies an issue, make sure you make an appointment promptly to have it addressed. If you develop any symptoms of an oral health problem, such as lingering toothaches, red and swollen or bleeding gums, or trouble chewing, you need to schedule an appointment.
- CONSIDER PREVENTIVE OPTIONS
To improve the health of your teeth and gums, speak to your dentist about using preventive treatments to help in avoiding dental issues. These could include tooth sealants, which help protect your molars from cavities, or fluoride rinses to strengthen your enamel.
- SCHEDULE YEARLY COMPREHENSIVE ORAL HEALTH EXAMINATIONS
During your yearly oral health examination, your dental team will use digital radiography and other diagnostic equipment to look for concerns. Early diagnosis of issues can help you avoid larger issues later. In addition, issues that are detected early can typically be fixed with quicker, less invasive procedures.
IMPROVE YOUR ORAL HEALTH TO ELEVATE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE
Begin taking care of your teeth and gums and help your whole body. There is evidence that indicates that swelling and redness and bacteria in your mouth can be harmful to your health, both now and long term. Taking care of your gums and teeth is an important part of your general wellness, so schedule an appointment with a dental practitioner in Wake Forest, NC to get an oral health examination and dental cleaning. If you're looking for a great team of experienced dental professionals who provide preventive care as well as restorative treatments, contact DentalWorks - Wake Forest. We would be happy to help you and your family get beautiful, healthy teeth at our practice in Wake Forest, NC.