Oral Health and The Mouth-Body Connection

To many people, a dental visit is about getting their teeth cleaned, having a tooth pulled, or getting a filling. However, a dental visit is not just about teeth. It is also about your overall health. What goes on in your mouth can affect the rest of your body. What goes on in your body also can have an effect on your mouth.

Did you know that bad oral health can lead to heart disease or diabetes?  This sounds bizarre but it is true.

Our oral health very certainly influences our overall general health. In other words we could say that having bad oral health puts us in a category of people who have a great risk of developing other health problems such as: Osteoporosis, Heart Disease, problems in pregnancy, diabetes and many kinds of respiratory Disease. These are just a few kinds of health hazards one could develop as a side effect of poor oral health, there are many more that are not mentioned here.

It is not very astonishing though that mouth infections can affect your overall health drastically, let us take for example: periodontal disease. This disease is caused by bacteria which reside in the mouth cavity. We take our nutrition mainly through the mouth, be it food or beverages. It is then very simple for these bacteria to enter your stomach and through there enter the blood stream thus causing infection to major organs including the heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in the US; it is a fact that heart disease causes even more deaths than cancer. There are studies and reports that date back to July 1998 that prove this.

A Healthy Smile Leads To A Healthy Heart

Many studies and reports after that have frequently backed up the fact and have reiterated the mouth-body connection. They have established a strong relation between dental health and overall general health. This does indicate a connection that says a healthy smile leads to a healthy heart.  Many scientific papers have been published that are open for the public to read in dental and medical journals and also on the internet.

Your oral health also can affect other medical conditions. For example, if you are diabetic, a mouth infection can disrupt your blood-sugar levels and make your diabetes harder to control. Researchers also are exploring whether periodontal (gum) disease may increase the risk of various medical problems. These may include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and premature births.

About 35% of U.S. adults have some form of periodontitis. Another 50% have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Because gum disease is so common, its treatment and management can have important implications for overall public health.

Consequences of ignoring Oral Health are many; certainly now that you are aware of the mouth-body connection. Oral health is no longer a trivial issue anymore and not paying attention to your oral health might not seem like the thing to do anymore.

A periodontal evaluation is a must especially if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis or respiratory disease or if you are planning to conceive a baby.

It is also recommended you have a periodontal evaluation if you have family members who suffer from periodontal disease. About 35% of U.S. adults have some form of periodontitis. Another 50% have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Because gum disease is so common, its treatment and management can have important implications for overall public health.

In case you have not paid attention to your oral health for a long time,  then do get a periodontal evaluation to assess your oral health.

New Operating Guidelines

During the COVID-9 pandemic, the wellbeing of our staff and patients is our highest priority. For this reason, we have implemented several changes in order to support a safe and healthy environment.

— If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-9 or any other illness, please reschedule your appointment. Dental appointments will be spaced in a manner that allows for proper social distancing between patients.

— When you arrive at the office, please remain in your car, call our office to let us know you are here, and a staff member will come out to meet you. The staff member will take your temperature with a no-touch thermometer and ask some COVID-19 screening questions. We request that you remain in your car until we call to let you know that your chair is ready.

— Please arrive at your appointment wearing your own mask. If you do not have a mask, we can provide one.

— Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering the office.

— We ask that patients do not bring others with them into the office, unless you are a parent or guardian of a patient who is a minor or has special needs. If you need to accompany a patient to the door, you will then be asked to wait in your vehicle or outside the office during their appointment.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this difficult time, and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

George Rizkalla, DDS Team

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