Written Yesenia Santos – Hygiene Manager at Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics
Getting a dental prophylaxis (routine cleaning) is an important step in maintaining a healthy you! Your mouth is the key to your overall health, and it can often be the initial indicator that your systemic health has been compromised.
Let us explain…
Have you ever heard yourself or anyone else utter these words?
“The worst thing that’ll happen to me if I don’t care for my teeth is cavities.” MYTH!
Did you know that poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal disease and more? Periodontal disease (or periodontitis) is an irreversible yet treatable gum infection that destroys the tissue, bone and its supporting dental structures. Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) is the less severe sister of periodontitis. Although gingivitis is reversible, if left untreated, it could lead to more serious dental concerns.
All too often, dental professionals see patients once they begin to experience symptoms such as pain or bad breath who, at this stage, may be past due for their routine visit. It’s important to remember that good oral hygiene and routine dental visits help prevent an array of dental diseases.
If left unchecked, periodontitis can lead to more serious health issues such as stroke or heart disease. How can an oral disease cause you other more serious health issues? Ask yourself, what is the first point of contact of unhealthy foods consumed due to poor diets? YOUR MOUTH. It is true when they say “you are what you eat,” but even worse, your habits define who you will become!
We are human, and we aren’t perfect. We are bound to miss a day of flossing here and there. But, when a day turns into a week, weeks turn into months, and those months turn into years, it is a proven fact that the damage extends beyond the oral environment. Your entire body suffers. Please, please, please, see your hygienist and dentist regularly. At the very least, you’ll receive the cleaning you need. At the most, it could save your life!
Some other common issues from poor oral health include the following:
- Decay (cavities)
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Clenching or grinding
If you are seeing any of the following signs, book an appointment at your local Jefferson Dental Care & Orthodontics office. Our amazing dental professionals are happy to help!
Signs of Periodontal Disease:
- Red, swollen (inflamed), tender gums
- Bleeding upon brushing or flossing
- Mobile or shifting teeth
Periodontal Disease is associated with an array of health conditions:
- Heart disease
- Preterm birth weight
Tips to Protect Against Poor Oral Health:
- An electric toothbrush is your best friend! Power toothbrushes are designed to remove plaque and bacteria more effectively compared to a manual brush.
- Floss, floss, floss. It’s best to floss after each meal, but if you are unable to do so, at the bare minimum floss after your last meal of the day.
- Follow your dental professional’s recommendations on frequency of visit. Each patients’ mouth is unique, so some patients may need to see a dental professional every three or four months versus every six months.
What to Expect at Your Visit:
- “Say AHHHH”- We provide oral cancer screening to all of our patients (you do not have to be a smoker or heavy drinker for oral cancer to be found in your mouth)
- We will identify tooth decay
- We will work to reduce the bacterial load in your oral environment
- We will look to detect periodontal disease
In the words of Biggie… “and if you don’t know, well now you know.” Contact Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics to schedule an appointment with your dental hygienist today!