Your mouth is a gateway. Whatever you eat or drink enters your body through your mouth, and what’s already there can have an impact on your body as well. Bacteria of all kinds are present in your mouth. While some are benign, others may pose a threat to your health.
Maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine and visiting our dental office for regular appointments can help keep your mouth free of harmful bacteria. Below are 3 common ailments that have been shown to be negatively impacted by poor oral health. If you suffer from any of these conditions and are worried that your oral health might be a contributing factor, contact our team for an examination and cleaning today!
Millions of Americans suffer from diabetes, and the disease can have many complications associated with it. A connection has been shown between diabetes and gum disease in many patients. Oral health problems often increase in frequency for patients with diabetes. Gingivitis and periodontitis are more common because these patents are at a higher risk of bacterial infection and are less able to combat harmful bacteria. Blood glucose levels can also be affected by gum disease, potentially putting a patient with diabetes at a higher risk for additional health problems.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA is an autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million people in the US alone. This chronic inflammatory disorder affects joints and is caused by the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues. Patients with RA are more likely to suffer from gum disease and periodontitis. Likewise, patients with periodontal issues have been shown to have nearly twice the risk of developing RA according to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Once bacteria enter your blood stream through your mouth, they can travel through your body and affect other locations. Conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia can be caused by malignant bacteria settling into a patient’s lungs. Other existing issues such as emphysema and pulmonary disease can be exacerbated by the invading bacteria.
If you suffer from any of these conditions or are concerned that poor oral health might be putting you at risk, please contact our office today. Our dedicated team will be happy to provide you with a treatment plan and prevention tips based on your current health
Exercise is important to good health, but can it have a detrimental effect on our teeth? Studies have shown that exercise and fitness habits can result in an increase in dental decay and tooth erosion. Exercise can impact our oral health in many ways, including:
Decreased Saliva Flow: Breathing heavily through the mouth during exercise can result in a reduction in saliva and cause the mouth to dry out. Saliva is filled with minerals that work to fight bacteria, protect tooth enamel, and prevent decay. To prevent decay caused by a dry mouth, learn to breathe through the nose during exercise and hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout. You can also brush your teeth before you exercise to reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque.
Jaw Clenching: Athletes often clench their jaw when straining to lift weights. This pressure can result in wear and even cracked teeth. To protect teeth from the effects of clenching, consider using a mouthguard. These can be purchased at most drugstores or sporting goods stores or our dentist can make a custom fitted mouthguard for you.
Consuming Sports Drinks: Studies have shown that sugary sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to the teeth than water. The citric acid they contain can soften the tooth enamel so much that even brushing can cause tooth damage. Taking frequent, small sips of sugary liquids increases the chance of tooth decay. Avoiding the use of sports drinks and hydrating with water instead can prevent these negative effects. If you feel you must use sports drinks, don’t drink small amounts over an extended period of time, rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and avoid brushing immediately after consuming.
Contact our office to schedule your next preventative dental appointment.
Clear communication with our team is an important step in the healing process. We will meet with you to discuss the necessary steps you should take to facilitate proper healing after your treatment. The majority of treatments we perform are outpatient procedures. This includes dental implant placement and wisdom teeth extractions. You will be sent home shortly after your procedure is complete. This means that it is essential you take proper care of yourself at home to ensure your mouth can fully heal.
Following surgery, it is important to reduce any bleeding that may occur. Usually within an hour, bleeding tends to slow down. Bleeding may occur for the first several hours following oral surgery. To reduce bleeding, bite firmly down on a clean gauze pad. The area will require firm but gentle pressure. Once the gauze pad is soaked, you may replace It with a clean pad. Avoid making sucking of spitting motions with your mouth following surgery. This can sometimes lead to reopening the wound. We advise that patients refrain from drinking with a straw following treatment.
Most oral surgeries require you to fast prior to your treatment. This means you will be hungry following your procedure. Following our instructions, start eating soft foods that are easy to chew. You will also need to drink to replenish your fluids. Water, juice, and milk are good to drink, while foods such as pudding, mashed potatoes, and ice cream are safe to eat. Chew slowly and cautiously, especially if your mouth still feels numb following your procedure.
Our team may prescribe pain medication to manage discomfort. Taking Ibuprofen every 4 to 6 hours is a common course of action you can take following most surgeries. You can also apply a cold compress over the area of treatment for the first day to reduce swelling. Contact our team today.