Connect the Dots to Get the Whole Picture

Your dental health reflects your overall health

Proper daily dental hygiene habits can keep your whole body healthy.  The condition of the oral tissues in your mouth reflect your overall health. During an oral exam and cleaning your hygienist observes and records  the health of your gums. They look for tissue color, tightness, inflammation, and the general condition of the mouth. The goal is to keep your gums healthy to prevent the bacteria in your mouth from entering your bloodstream and doing damage. Routine visits to your hygienist for cleanings along with daily brushing and flossing at home keep the tissues in your mouth firm and able to fight infection. Healthy gums serve as a barrier to ward off infections that could start in your mouth.

Here are just some medical conditions that are affected by your dental health:

·         Heart disease:It has been proven that if bacteria from your mouth is allowed to travel through the blood to the heart it can cause heart disease. The bacteria in your blood system contributes to plaque buildup in your arterties, decreasing blood flow and increasing the risk of blood clots and/or a stroke.

·         Osteoporosis:Your teeth are supported by bone so during an oral exam your bone levels are measured. If the hygienist sees indications of bone loss it may be a sign that your body’s bone strength is at risk. Osteoporosis is a weaking of bone support in your body that can lead to brittle bones. This can cause significant pain and even broken bones.

·         Diabetes:When your gums are inflammed (redness and overgrown tissues) your body needs to work to fight the infection.  Diabetes makes it harder to fight infection. The disease slows your healing time and makes you more vunerable to foreign bodies such as bacteria entering the bloodstream. The resulting infections can lead to heart disease and stroke.

The list of other medical conditions connected to your dental health is long, including dry mouth, acid reflux, anorexia, autoimmune diseases and lung disease. During pregnancy dental health is extremely important to keep the gums healthy so they can do their job as a barrier to protect both the mother and her baby.

Together with your dental professionals you can work to maintain your oral health with a goal of improving your overall health. Remember, when it comes to your health, from the tip of your tongue to your toes it’s all connected.

Marlena, your hygienist







mouthwash or rinse?
By Terry
March 29, 2013
Went shopping for mouthwash, & was overxhelmed with varieties: anticavity flouride RINSE, restoring mouthWASH,total care RINSE, total care mouthWASH, total care mild anticavity flouride mouthWASH, all from the same company. I bought the total care mouthWASH. What should I have gotten?