Most of us associate our visits to a Red Deer dentist with having our teeth cleaned, examined, and sometimes even repaired. However, a visit to the dentist near you can reveal more than just an issue with your oral health. It can also provide information about your overall health and ensure that it stays in the best condition possible.
It may surprise you to find out that recent studies have shown that poor oral health is associated with several serious health conditions. Unhealthy gums and teeth can serve as a warning for a more serious condition than just a painful toothache. Luckily, our dedicated team of dental professionals at Gaetz dental is here to ensure that your oral health stays managed and in tip-top shape with comprehensive oral examinations in Red Deer so that you can remain happy and healthy.
The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health
While it may not seem like it, your mouth hosts millions upon millions of bacteria. Though most of these bacteria are fairly harmless, poor oral hygiene can cause some not so harmless bacteria to grow and overwhelm your immune system, leading to possible infections in the mouth and body as a whole. Certain prescription medications such as antidepressants and decongestants may reduce the amount of saliva you produce and lead to an increased amount of bacteria in your mouth, increasing your risk of infection and the potential for more severe oral health issues.
Your mouth is the main entry point into the important internal systems of your body, such as the respiratory and digestive systems. Without good oral hygiene practices, bacteria can get into the bloodstream and spread to the heart and lungs. Health studies show that these harmful bacteria can lead to infections throughout your body and even increase your risk of heart attack and stroke if left unchecked.
Health Problems That Are Associated With Poor Oral Health
Our dentist is very aware of the connections between oral and overall health and is trained to recognize signs of underlying health conditions that may show themselves in your mouth. Did you know that 90% of systemic health issues display some form of oral symptoms? Here are some of the most common health problems that have been linked to poor oral health:
- Heart disease
- Endocarditis (infection of the inner layer of the heart)
- Kidney disease
Our dentist may find some other conditions when performing comprehensive oral examinations near you, including sleeping disorders, eating disorders, high blood pressure (hypertension), and anemia. You must understand that while these conditions may occur simultaneously, it does not mean that they directly impact or cause one another.
Some studies have also found that conditions that weaken your immune system are likely to increase your risk for other health issues, including oral health conditions. So, if you are immuno-compromised, it is extra important to pay attention to maintaining your oral health and keeping it in the best shape possible.
How To Protect and Nurture Your Oral Health
You may be wondering: what is the best way to take care of your oral health? Ensure that you notify your dentist about all of your health conditions, recent hospitalizations, and medications that you may be taking, as all of these can impact the condition of your oral health. When you visit Gaetz Dental for your regular dental cleanings and checkups, our dentist will be sure to note any changes to your medical history and keep track of these changes so that they can monitor if and how they will impact your oral health.
To maintain optimal oral health, ensure that you practice an excellent oral hygiene routine and visit our dental office at least twice a year for professional dental cleanings and checkups. Brush your teeth twice each day for at least two minutes. When brushing, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush in small, circular motions to effectively remove all the lingering bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Additionally, remember to floss at least once a day as this removes all the leftover food particles and plaque from the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, such as between your teeth and along your gum line. Our team recommends replacing your toothbrush once every three months and using mouthwash to keep your teeth feeling clean and your breath smelling fresh.
Finally, ensure that you eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables to protect your teeth and limit your intake of sugar and acidic foods. Avoid using tobacco products and cigarettes as these products can increase your risk of developing oral cancer and other health complications.
Maintaining your oral health and overall health requires commitment, dedication, and an understanding of your body. The best way to control your oral health is by implementing an excellent oral hygiene routine and visiting your dentist regularly. Please do not hesitate to contact our team at Gaetz Dental to book a professional dental cleaning and checkup today.