Oral Health and Overall Wellness
Oral health is a key part of overall well-being and physical health. Keeping the mouth free of harmful bacteria, infection and inflammation helps to prevent the entry and spread of germs or illness. Having strong, healthy teeth, gums and proper bite are also critical to a beautiful and healthy smile. For patients who have already experienced tooth loss, implants can help repair and maintain oral and overall health by replacing natural teeth and minimizing bone loss. Great oral health helps you to:
- Eat and chew healthy nourishing foods
- Defend your body against infection and illness
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Enjoy a feeling of well-being
- Have the confidence to smile
Recognizing the important connection between the mouth and the body, we routinely watch for signs of problems that may affect your overall health such as:
- Signs of oral cancer
- Ability to chew and eat without unnecessary sensitivity
- Quality of sleep by checking for evidence of bruxism (or teeth grinding) and also watching for signs of snoring and sleep apnea
Although scientific research is just beginning to provide us with more conclusive information, it appears that gum disease may have links to some of the following health problems:
Diabetes – Research has indicated that people with diabetes are more at risk for developing gum disease and that diabetics who have advanced periodontal disease may experience some additional challenges in managing their blood sugar.
Systemic Diseases – Although the scientific research at this point remains inconclusive, these diseases appear to have a link to periodontal conditions:
- Osteoporosis – Bone loss not only affects the bones that support healthy posture and movement but can affect the jaw bone and lead to tooth loss due to the loss of a solid foundation to support the teeth.
- Respiratory Disease – The aspiration of bacteria growing in the oral cavity can contribute to the development of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.
- Cancer – According to the American Academy of Periodontology, men with gum disease are more likely to develop specific types of cancer such as kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers.
Illness in other parts of the body can be detrimental to teeth. Patients with diabetes are likely to suffer from gingivitis, likewise, some research supports that patients who have gingivitis are more prone to diabetes. There are also supported conclusions that oral bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause blockages to important arteries and the brain. But it is not just illness, even natural change can affect our bodies. Many pregnant women experience Pregnancy Gingivitis which is caused from the influx of pregnancy hormones and can cause gum bleeding. This can be solved by brushing and flossing your teeth with soft bristles and more often. In rare cases bacterium such as Fusobacterium nucleatum which can get into the bloodstream. It is very rare but this specific bacteria can really hurt the baby, making oral hygiene very important at all times.