Taking care of your teeth and gums is the best way to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. However, there are other benefits to maintaining ideal oral health.
When you care for your teeth and gums properly, you are also ridding your mouth of bacteria that can travel to other parts of your body and cause systemic disease. Additionally, when you see your dentist regularly they are able to detect signs that can appear in your mouth and signal an underlying illness.
Your Dental Exam as a Health Screening
When performing a thorough oral exam, dentists also look for signs of a possible systemic disease. Suspicious sores and spots in soft tissue, as well as discolorations of the tongue, are discussed with you and a recommendation for you to see your primary care physician or a specialist will be made.
Some of the conditions that have symptoms that are often seen first be a dentist include:
Stress – The wearing down of teeth are a telltale sign of teeth grinding which is often linked to stress.
Diabetes – Gum disease that is resistant to treatment or progresses rapidly can be indicative of diabetes.
Skin Disease – Many skin conditions are replicated in the soft tissues of the mouth.
Gastrointestinal Disease – Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease may show in the mouth as sores or ulcers.
Oral Cancer – Dentists are trained to spot suspicious lesions that may be the first sign of oral cancer.
Heart and Lung Disease – in any case of severe gum disease, your heart and lungs should be checked as there is a direct correlation between the bacteria that cause decay and gum disease and the risk of cardiac and respiratory infection.
Regular dental visits can not only screen for underlying illnesses, it can help prevent them. Research has established a clear link between oral bacteria and systemic disease.
Staying Healthy by making Your Smile a Priority
Oral health conditions can also affect other parts of the body. Bacteria originating in the oral cavity can be especially potent and it feeds on carbohydrates and sugars that are left behind after eating and drinking.
When this bacteria is allowed to grow unchecked because of a lack of dental hygiene, it can be inhaled, or absorbed into the body through a small break in your gums or other soft tissue. These breaks are abundant in the face of periodontal disease which is generally a direct result of inadequate brushing and flossing, and can be exacerbated by a systemic illness. Once loose in the body it can go on to affect other sites, most commonly the heart and lungs.
Your Oral Health is Vital
Having this knowledge makes caring for your smile even more important. Proper dental care, including regular visits to your dentist, should be regarded as one of the steps you take to ensure your total well-being.
If you are in need of a comprehensive and thorough dentist in Colorado Springs, give the dental office of Dr. Rhonda Bowen a call today.