We Don’t Overlook the Role of Dental Care in Systemic Health
- Posted on: Aug 15 2016
There may be more reasons to see your dentist than you have ever imagined. Typically, patients schedule visits because they want to stay ahead of cavities and gum disease, or because they want to address a cosmetic concern like discoloration. Unfortunately, there just as many patients who see the dentist to resolve a painful problem as there are who seek preventive care. It is rare to speak with a patient who throws dental care into the ring of their general health and wellness plan; but this is exactly how it should be.
The Oral-Systemic Connection
Historically, the mouth has been perceived as its own little ecosystem, somehow separate from the rest of the world that it inhabits. Through years of research, we have learned that the mouth really isn’t separate at all. In fact, it can be a reliable source of information about what may be going on in the body. The connection between the mouth and the body goes both ways. What happens in the mouth can either promote systemic health, or it can get in the way of your desire to avoid illness and disease.
How Inflammation Factors in
Conditions like gum disease and inflammation are both so common that we consider them “normal,” a consequence of aging or of our hygiene practices. The truth is, neither of these conditions are normal; and neither serves your best interest in terms of health and wellness. In a healthy scenario, inflammation is actually a necessary part of healing. It repairs tissues and destroys germs; at least in an ideal situation.
The issue is, when gum disease and oral health are not addressed, inflammation does not go away. More than that, it gets worse. The systemic inflammation that results from chronic infection in the mouth may then cause or exacerbate other health conditions. Some of the problems linked to chronic inflammation include diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
Dental Care for Optimal Health
There are numerous facets to a healthy lifestyle. Dental care is one of them. When we notice inflammation in gum tissue, we know something is wrong. We know that the immune system is being taxed, and that it could use some help. Our goal in treating patients is not to treat disease, but to educate them on how to prevent it.
Schedule a visit with Dr. Marshall at 610-649-0696 to mitigate the risk for oral inflammation.
Posted in: Dental Health