June is National Oral Health Month, and The Gorman Center for Fine Dentistry is sharing important information about keeping up with your oral hygiene as well as some tips to ensure optimal oral health.
Why optimal oral health is important
According to Dr. Gorman’s Dental Hygienist, Sarah Graumann, if you don’t keep up with your oral health routine it could lead to bleeding gums, inflammation (gingivitis), periodontal disease, tooth decay, abscesses and eventual tooth loss.
The cause of these dental conditions is bacterial overgrowth and byproducts lingering in your mouth. The best way to keep bacterial levels low in your mouth is to brush and floss at least two times per day. Devices such as waterpiks, mouthwashes, and interdental brush picks make the job of keeping bacterial loads down easier. Also, regular dental visits are going to help keep your gum tissue healthy and target any serious dental conditions that require prompt treatment.
Our patient, Bea, took the diagnosis of gum disease seriously and says it well:
Knowing the health of my mouth can affect the rest of my body and having a family history of heart disease, I was concerned when I saw my bleeding gums. Dr. Gorman and his hygienist recommended laser therapy. I am pleased by the fantastic results and the visits were comfortable; it’s great to hear good news when I come in for my routine visits. When I notice unhealthy mouths around me, I feel very fortunate for the care I’ve received. I’m very happy with the overall look and feel of my mouth.”
Dr. Gorman’s hygienist, Sarah continues:
“There are many consequences from untreated gingivitis and periodontal disease that can lead and or contribute to cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, giving birth prematurely, several cancers, obesity, and other related conditions. In fact, periodontal disease and or endodontic lesions (dental abscesses) are present in 50 percent of heart attack patients.” Physicians rely on dental professionals to treat periodontal disease. DR. Gorman adds: ‘Even though periodontal disease has officially been designated a medical condition (or disease) and no longer considered just a dental issue, of equal importance is that physicians can’t treat it—only dentists and hygienists can. Many cardiologists will ask their patients when they have last seen their dentist and hygienist.”
According to the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), emerging science confirms that chronic low-grade infections in the mouth elevates systemic inflammation and has an impact on all body systems. The mouth is further linked with the rest of the body when considering the impact of sleep apnea, TMD and headaches, dental caries, and oral cancer. The significance of these mouth-body and oral-systemic connections highlight the importance of preventing and treating oral disease which has profound medical impacts on “whole body” health.
How to maintain your oral health
Oral Health Tips:
- Brush your teeth properly and often—minimum of 2 times per day
- Change your toothbrush at least every 3 months
- Floss at least once per day and properly (Sarah will customize your plan based on your oral health status)
- Keep your diet “teeth friendly” (limiting sticky, sugary drinks or foods)
- Avoid all tobacco products
- Use mouthwashes (antibacterial and or fluoride rinses)
- Use a tongue scraper every time you brush to remove smelly bacteria
- Make dental visits a priority
Establishing healthy habits for yourself and your children will make a big difference in the health and happiness of your entire family. In addition to maintaining a good home care routine, the best thing you can do is to schedule regular dental checkups and professional cleanings.