While scheduling regular dental exams is a great way to detect cavities and gum problems early, studies show that these exams also offer invaluable insight when it comes to your overall health. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, there is a strong correlation between periodontitis (gum disease) and an increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. This is especially true for those who have a compromised immune system stemming from HIV and AIDS as these diseases can impede the body’s ability to fight off infection, which can worsen oral health problems. In this article, we will take a closer look at the benefits of regular dental check-ups and also how to improve your oral health at home.
WHAT CAUSE ORAL HEALTH PROBLEMS?
Aside from poor oral hygiene, dental problems can be a byproduct of certain medications like antihistamines, pain relievers, diuretics, and decongestants, for example. These medications have been shown to impede saliva flow, which helps neutralize acids produced by bacteria in the oral cavity. If this goes untreated, you will become more susceptible to not only cavities but also periodontal disease, which invariably leads to problems that affect your physical health. One of the best ways to avoid these problems is to advise your dentist in Del Mar of any medications that you are taking as they may be able to prescribe pilocarpine, cevimeline, or other medications that can help stimulate saliva production. Of course, you should still practice good oral hygiene in-between dental visits, which includes
- Brushing and flossing at least twice per day
- Avoiding tobacco products
- Replacing your toothbrush every 3 or 4 couple of months
- Consuming a healthy diet
LA COSTA DENTAL: PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND HEALTH PROBLEMS
In addition to heart disease and diabetes, poor oral health, namely periodontitis, can contribute to the following health problems:
Endocarditis – This health condition is characterized by an infection of the inner lining of the heart, which is caused by bacteria in the mouth that enters the bloodstream.
Pre-term births – Studies show that women who are pregnant and have periodontal disease have a greater chance of experiencing a premature or low birth weight baby compared to women with good oral health.
All in all, regular dental exams can detect cavities, gum disease, and certain health problems early, enabling you to forgo complicated and expensive treatments. If it has been a while since your last check-up, consider scheduling an appointment with a La Costa Dental or with Dr. Michelle Sandler, a Dentist in Encinitas