PERIODONTAL DISEASE OVERALL HEALTH

I am becoming more and more aware and concerned with the link between oral health and overall health.  Taking care of your oral health positively contributes to your overall health Featured imageand well-being.  Researchers have established links between gum disease and other health ailments.  While it is not perfectly clear whether there is a cause and effect relationship, we do know that there are links between gum disease and many other health conditions.  We know that gum disease can be prevented, treated and sometimes reversed, which indicates that patients may be able to influence their overall health by actively managing their oral health.

Prevention is the key.  Good oral home care routines combined with regular dental visits is the best way to prevent gum disease.  Brushing, flossing and rinsing at home helps reduce the build up of plaque.  By maintaining regular dental visits we can remove additional plaque and monitor gum disease warning signs.  We will discuss any evidence of gum disease with you so that you can also manage any changes in your overall health.  Here are some links that have been demonstrated between oral health and overall health.

  • Heart Disease & Stroke: People with gum disease are almost TWICE as likely to suffer coronary artery disease as those without gum disease.
  • Pulmonary Infection: Harmful bacteria from gum infections has been linked with pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Osteoporosis: Women with osteoporosis may be at higher risk for gum disease and people with gum disease may be at a higher risk of underlying osteoporosis.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, which in turn can make it more difficult to control blood sugar.
  • Oral Cancer: An association has been found between serious periodontal disease and pre-cancerous lesions and oral tumors.
  • Pregnancy: Periodontal disease during pregnancy has been linked with toxemia, pre-term delivery and babies with lower birth weights.

Periodontal disease is a condition that can be successfully treated and managed.  Remember to brush, floss and rinse your teeth.  Never share your toothbrush and replace it regularly.  It really doesn’t matter what brand of toothbrush you use, as long as it has soft or medium strength bristles.  The best toothbrush to use is the one that you will use!

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380

Advertisements

Common Dental Myths Debunked

NovBlogImage-2 (2)

Facts About Dental Myths

With the magnitude of information available to us these days, it’s harder than ever to separate facts from myths; especially when it comes to your health. There are a million dental related myths that might steer you in the wrong direction when it comes to a healthy smile. It’s important to be informed and know the facts. Here are a few common dental myths, followed by the facts.

Oral Hygiene Only Affects Your Teeth

Many people hear the phrase “oral hygiene” and they think of the simple act of brushing or flossing. While oral hygiene is important for keeping your teeth healthy, poor oral hygiene can be linked to several other health problems- including heart disease. Taking care of your mouth actually means taking care of a lot of things within your body. Untreated periodontal disease contributes to more low birth weight babies than both drinking and smoking combined.  Having poor oral hygiene can cause a multitude of problems- not all of them related to your teeth.

You Shouldn’t Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out Until They Start to Hurt

Typically, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and your dentist will generally advise you of the same. If you wait for your wisdom teeth to become painful, they might have already done other damage to your gums or teeth. Many people believe that as long as they have no pain, there’s no reason to have an unnecessary surgery. In rare cases, wisdom teeth can stay intact as long as they are not interfering or causing damage. One of the most common reasons to remove wisdom teeth is because they are so difficult to keep clean and rather than incurring costly repairs to those teeth many dentists will suggest having them removed.  Frequent exams are necessary in this case to monitor and maintain your health. It’s generally better to have your wisdom teeth removed before any pain, rather than take the gamble.

White Teeth Are Healthier Teeth

Teeth are actually not meant to be pure white. Tooth color can vary widely, for example, depending on your race, pigmentation varies greatly.  Also, as you get older, your teeth will naturally take on a more faded color as things do with time, however they can still be perfectly healthy. A color beyond a light yellow could be cause for concern, but generally the pinkness of your gums is a better indication of oral health as opposed to how white your teeth are.

If Teeth Look Healthy, and Are Not Hurting, There is No Reason to Visit a Dentist

The most common mistake people make regarding their dental health is skipping regular preventive visits because they do not see or feel any problems. Even in the absence of a visible problem or discomfort, regular visits for x-ray exams, cleaning and necessary restorative care are necessary to maintain your teeth and gums for life. Discovering diseases in the mouth earlier rather than later will typically reduce cost, recovery time and severity of dental treatment that may need to be performed.

It’s important to educate yourself on the facts surrounding whole body health and well-being. Muddled information and common misperceptions can leave people confused. The best way to combat myths and augment dental health is to see and speak with your dentist regularly. Have open dialogue and productive conversations about what is and is not true. Being informed, savvy and educated will keep you and your dentist smiling.

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116

The Value of Mouthguards

shutterstock_131180210Are your kids playing sports? Whether it’s football, basketball, or water polo, mouth guards are necessary and extremely important to prevent injury to teeth from either teeth grinding or sporting injuries.  Every season I see patients in my office who have suffered trauma from a sporting event accident.  The most common athletic dental injuries that I see in my office are a result of a basketball or soccer injury.

In order to protect your teeth during athletic activities, a mouth guard is crucial.  A properly fitted mouth guard will help cushion an impact to the mouth.  Mouth guards can also help protect you from chipped or broken teeth, jaw injuries or cuts to the lip and tongue.  We can fabricate a mouth guard for you or your child in our office.  Many of our patients prefer custom mouth guards to the over-the-counter mouth guards that you boil at home as they fit significantly better.  We find that patients are more likely to wear our mouth guards as they are less likely to restrict breathing and speech, more comfortable, less likely to fall out, more resistant to tears, durable and easy to clean.

So, whatever sport you play, be safe and stop by our office to get fitted for a high quality mouth guard!

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116