Your Mouth and Your Health

 

Dentistry is an art and a science of diagnosing, preventing, and treating diseases of the gum, teeth, and jaw. Dentistry, then, is very essential to one’s good health. Most people are not aware of the link between their overall health and the condition of their mouths. Researchers have shown that 90% of all systemic diseases are associated with the condition of one’s mouth. In today’s busy lifestyles, a majority of people do not properly take care of their oral hygiene needs effectively. Constant urging from their dentists to brush and floss may save their lives. Everyone should brush and floss at least twice a day. Also, it is vital to see your dentist at least twice a year for regular check ups. These visits to the dentist can save your teeth and your life if diseases can be identified and treated early enough.

The American Heart Association has published in the Journal Stroke (1997, 28:1724) the link between chronic dental infections and the increased risk of stroke. Dental infections such as gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, and periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease, have increased the risk of systemic effects on other health conditions. The following are some examples:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Respiratory Infection
  • Low Birth Weight
  • Pregnancy

What is gum disease? Gum disease is a very serious disease. It is the presence of infected red, swollen gums caused by the white sticky film of food and bacteria called plaque. The bacteria in the plaque produce dangerous toxins that can destroy the teeth, gums and the jaw bone holding your teeth in place. There are several stages to gum disease and the most common is Gingivitis, which is easily reversed with proper oral hygiene care. The more severe and life-threatening stage is Periodontitis, and this is not reversible. Once this condition is present, follow-up treatments will not cure the disease: they only maintain and prevent future damage. It is important to catch gum disease early before it progresses to a more severe form. Some of the warning signs of gum disease are:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Teeth that are loose
  • Teeth may look longer
  • Gums are sensitive and may recede

Researchers have discovered that people suffering from the chronic infection of periodontal disease have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and respiratory disease. Just think of periodontal disease as an open infection surrounding your gums and this opening is the doorway for the harmful bacteria to enter your bloodstream. According to dental research, the number of bacteria found in the human mouth is over a million. Once the bacteria are in the bloodstream, a cascade of problems can occur that can lead to the inflammation of the arteries causing the production of fatty deposits in the arteries. These fatty deposits can block the blood flow, which can cause a stroke.

Think about how often you brush and floss your teeth; think about how often you visit your dentist for regular check ups and professional cleanings; and, just think, you could help increase your chances for a long and healthy life by keeping your dental appointments.

Our mouths are the gateways to our bodies and they play a vital role in our overall well being. So, the next time you visit your dentist you are taking an important step in the right direction to save not only your teeth but your life.

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To your health,

Shai Hall, DDS
The Dental Spa, PC
2000 Powers Ferry
Rd SE Ste 1-6
Marietta, GA 30067
770-563-8100

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Tags: Atlanta Dental Spa Atlanta Dentist Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Shai Hall gentle dental care

 
 
 
2 had something to say.
 
  1. Ollie McKay's
    2010-04-16
    12:34:26

    Get your dental checkups on time, ladies!! (and guys too!) I go every 4 months for cleanings and checkups - because of radiation treatments in throat area, they keep a close eye on me! I love my Dentist and her Hygienist - they are both wonderful and very thorough!! Happy Friday to all!

     
  2. PYNTK
    2010-04-16
    13:40:37

    Thanks Ollie. I wish you well. :-)

     
 

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