Oral health is a key part of overall well-being and physical health. We believe that excellent oral health has a significant impact on our patients’ lives. The field of dentistry and its specialties is focused on the prevention and treatment of a variety of dental problems, including cavities and gum disease. Keeping the mouth free of harmful bacteria, infection and inflammation helps to prevent the entry and spread of germs or illness. Great oral health also helps you to:
- Eat and chew healthy nourishing foods
- Defend your body against infection and illness
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Enjoy a feeling of well-being
- Have the confidence to smile
Recognizing the important connection between the mouth and the body, we routinely watch for signs of problems that may affect your overall health such as:
- Signs of oral cancer
- Ability to chew and eat without unnecessary sensitivity
- Quality of sleep by checking for evidence of bruxism (or teeth grinding) and also watching for signs of snoring and sleep apnea
Although scientific research is just beginning to provide us with more conclusive information, it appears that gum disease may have links to some of the following health problems:
- Diabetes – Research has indicated that people with diabetes are more at risk for developing gum disease and that diabetics who have advanced periodontal disease may experience some additional challenges in managing their blood sugar.
- Systemic Diseases – Although the scientific research at this point remains inconclusive, these diseases appear to have a link to periodontal conditions:
- Osteoporosis – Bone loss not only affects the bones that support healthy posture and movement, but can affect the jaw bone and lead to tooth loss due to the loss of a solid foundation to support the teeth.
- Respiratory Disease – The aspiration of bacteria growing in the oral cavity can contribute to the development of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.
- Cancer – According to the American Academy of Periodontology, men with gum disease are more likely to develop specific types of cancer such as kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers.
Scientists are also currently researching to determine if there is a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, memory and pre-term or low birth weight babies.