Teeth and gums are not really separate from the rest of your body. Facial appearance, speech and chewing depend on good oral health, but your overall health takes its cues from what goes on in your mouth, too, Dr. Natalya Nagornaya, dentist in Buffalo Grove, says preventive dentistry keeps your mouth and the rest of you healthy and hearty. There is indeed a definite mouth/body connection that cannot be denied.
Your Mouth Affects All of You
The American Dental Association (ADA) says there a link exists between advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, and your systemic health. If your gums are pink and intact, your overall health is most likely good, too. Periodontitis is an infection of the gums caused by plaque and tartar build-up at and below the gumline and on tooth surfaces. When periodontitis is present, problems appear in other bodily systems.
Symptoms of advanced gum disease include:
- Reddened, swollen, bleeding gums
- Persistent bad breath, or halitosis, that does not respond to brushing or changes in diet
- Receding gums and jaw bone
- A “long tooth” appearance
- Tooth mobility and loss
- Change in dental bite and in the fit of prosthetics such as partial dentures
- Pus at the gumline
- Dental sensitivity
Your family dentist in Buffalo Grove feels that the inflammatory changes associated with gum disease spread throughout the body and are related to problems such as:
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Type-2 Diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Complications of pregnancy
- Asthma and lung infections
The ADA says preventive dental care is the best protection from oral health problems and related systemic issues. So, these dentists advise brushing your teeth for a full two minutes two times a day with fluoride toothpaste and soft brush. They also recommend flossing in between teeth once a day.
Why are at-home hygiene habits important? These habits prevent accumulation of bacteria-filled plaque on and in between teeth and at the gum line. The oral bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease. So, as the old adage says, just an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Additionally, the ADA says all dental patients should receive hygienic cleanings and examinations semi-annually.
To go along with good oral hygiene, eat a well-balanced diet, low in starches and processed sugars and high in fruit, vegetables, grains and low-fat proteins. Drink 64 ounces of water or more every day to cleanse teeth and gums and increase saliva and its antibacterial enzymes.
Preventive Dentistry at Its Best
At Countryside Dental, Dr. Nagornaya and her team offer treatments that foster vibrant and long-lasting oral health. X-rays, cleanings, exams, plastic sealants, fluoride treatments, oral cancer screenings, bite checks, and space maintainers for kids maintain bright smiles for the whole family. Schedule a check-up today. Contact Countryside Dental for an appointment.