Posted by: Maplewood Dental Arts in News

Mouth and Body: MDA Cares About the Connection Between Your Oral Health and Your Overall Wellness

The team at Maplewood Dental is committed to helping our patients understand the connection between their oral health and their overall health. When you come in for routine dental care maintenance, we are not only concerned with the health of your mouth, but also the health of your whole body. Our doctors and clinical team know that early detection and preventive care are key to maintaining the health of your smile.

Depending on your individual oral health situation, we recommend coming into our office for dental checkups and professional cleanings every 3, 4 or 6 months. The number of visits per year are determined by the maintenance and you need to manage the unique health conditions you may have. Regularly scheduled visits ensure we can evaluate and document the changes to your teeth, gums, and mouth to catch potential oral health issues before they become bigger problems. In addition, we review your overall health with you, noting any health problems you may have that could affect the health of your mouth.

One of the most important things we look for are any signs of periodontal, or gum disease. Periodontal disease is caused by harmful bacterial buildup which can negatively affect the tissue and bones around your teeth. The signs of periodontal disease are not always obvious, so it is important to have our dentists and hygienists assess the health of your gums regularly.

While periodontal disease can be genetic, more often it is caused by smoking, diabetes that is not controlled, compromised physical or cardiovascular health, or poor home oral care hygiene habits. When you come in for a checkup, our team reviews any dental issues you may be having and discuss any of your regular habits which could increase your risk for developing periodontal disease.

Patients with advanced periodontal disease are at an increased risk for a number of dangerous health conditions, including higher incidents of heart attacks, clogged arteries, and even stroke. The bacterial buildup characteristic of periodontal disease can impair the regular blood flow of the blood vessels in your mouth, weakening your gums and making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.

Some of the signs of periodontal disease include bleeding gum, chronic bad breath, redness or swelling of the gums, and receding gums. If our team sees signs of these symptoms, we work with you to assess the extent of any potential periodontal disease and create a customized “perio maintenance” plan that is best suited to prevent or manage your individual periodontal issues.

Another important assessment our team makes at each dental checkup is a screening for oral cancers. While higher incidents of oral cancer have been linked to periodontal disease, oral cancers have been detected in otherwise healthy people of all ages. Often, dentists and dental hygienists are the first health care providers to identify signs of oral and throat cancers.

Each time you come into our office for routine dental cleanings and checkups, our team performs comprehensive screenings of your mouth, throat, and neck glands, looking for any signs of potential oral cancers. Early detection of oral cancers is an important part of increasing your chances of effective oral cancer treatment.

With increasing evidence that shows how the health of your mouth can influence your overall health, it is more important than ever to follow a regular routine of home oral care, including brushing at least twice daily for two minutes per brushing, flossing daily, and coming into our office regularly for dental checkups and thorough cleanings. At MDA, we want all of our patients to enjoy not just healthy teeth and gums, ensuring a lifetime of healthy smiles, but a healthy body as well!