By now, you’ve probably heard about the undeniable link between oral health and systemic health. But why does this connection exist, and why does regular dental care boost your quality of life? Today, our team at Metropolitan Dental Care in Denver explains how periodontal care can improve your overall wellness.
To schedule an appointment at our practice, contact us at 303-534-2626. We have two offices serving Lone Tree and Denver.
Exploring the Mouth-Body Connection
The oral cavity is teeming with bacteria. Most of the bacteria found here are harmless – but some have the potential to cause disease. Because the mouth is the entry point for your digestive and respiratory tracts, it’s important to keep everything in check to reduce the risk of future problems.
Generally, daily brushing and flossing is enough to keep these harmful bacteria at bay. However, the inflammation and bacteria associated with gum disease can lead to more significant health problems. This is why periodontal care is so important.
What conditions are linked to periodontal health?
Oral health has been scientifically linked to a number of health conditions, including:
- Endocarditis: This infection generally occurs once bacteria from other parts of the body spread to the bloodstream and attach to the heart.
- Cardiovascular disease: Research suggests that stroke, clogged arteries, and heart disease are often linked to oral infections.
- Pneumonia: Oral bacteria can be pulled into your lungs, triggering a wide range of respiratory diseases.
- Birth complications: Poor oral health – specifically periodontitis – has been linked to low birth weight and premature birth.
On the other side of the coin, there are also certain conditions that could directly impact your oral health. These may include:
- Diabetes: This condition reduces the body’s resistance to infection. As a result, patients with diabetes are far more susceptible to gum disease.
- Osteoporosis: As the bone weakens from this condition, it can also result in periodontal bone degradation and tooth loss.
- HIV/AIDS: Lesions and other oral issues are common in individuals with HIV/AIDS.
Periodontal Care and Its Effect on General Health
In simple terms, if bacteria are present in the oral cavity, they are also present in other areas of the body. This is the primary reason why periodontal care is essential for overall wellness. When you attend regular dental exams and cleanings, you are actively reducing the risk of serious health complications.
If you are genetically predisposed to issues like tooth decay or gum disease, it’s important to talk to your dentist about a hygiene schedule. While many patients do well with six-month cleanings, some require more frequent visits to keep harmful bacteria at bay.
Those who currently have active gum disease will need to address the problem with a customized treatment plan. Scaling and root planing is sufficient for those with mild disease, while those with moderate to advanced disease may require gum surgery.
Other Ways to Protect Your Oral Health
To protect your oral health, we recommend practicing good oral hygiene daily:
- Brush your teeth at least twice every day using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Clean between the teeth once a day using dental floss, interproximal brushes, or dental picks.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash every day.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months.
- Limit foods that are high in sugar.
- Eat a well-balanced diet, full of fresh fruits and veggies.
- Avoid tobacco products.
Learn More about Periodontal Care in Denver
Want to learn more about how periodontal care can reduce the risk of health problems? Contact us online anytime to schedule an appointment. Or, call us in Denver or Lone Tree at 303-534-2626.