Caring for your mouth means caring for the health of your whole body. That’s why rethinking your oral hygiene routine could provide benefits beyond white teeth and fresh breath. It could mean avoiding cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and pregnancy complications. Dr. Chuck Reinertsen discussed the benefits of changing the way you care for your dental health during a webinar you can watch here.
Cleaning your teeth should be a journey of exploration. Far too many people rush through the process and never get their teeth as clean as they need to be. To free your mouth of plaque buildup and bacteria, you need to take the time to give your teeth a thorough cleanse at least once per day. You need to focus on each tooth's surfaces and venture into the hardest-to-reach nooks and crannies. Bacteria love to hide in these tight spaces between the teeth, and it's where they often do the most damage — cavities and infections usually develop in the darkest, most hidden spaces in your mouth. Fortunately, we have lots of tools available to help reach the space between our teeth and keep them clean and healthy. The key is using them regularly and properly.
The Dental Medical Convergence is a non-profit organization that works directly with physicians. Its goal is to teach physicians how to incorporate oral health when evaluating their patients’ overall health. Both patients and physicians often incorrectly assume that if they aren't experiencing any oral discomfort, they must have good oral health. This just isn't the case! In fact, our bodies could be suffering the effects of numerous different health issues that stem from poor oral health or incorrect oral anatomy.
Today, I want to take a moment and introduce you to Alice. Alice was a lovely lady who used to fill her days as an artist; but lately, her health has kept her from doing all of the things she loves most. Alice would wake up in the morning, barely able to drag herself out of bed. She was exhausted all day long and couldn’t muster the energy to complete even the most simple tasks. Her mood was low, and she stopped painting. She couldn't find the desire to pull out her easel and paint brushes, and she had no inspiration to create her beautiful artwork.
For many people, it isn't easy to think of our body as one connected machine. It is easier to think of ourselves as separate working parts that make up a whole. This is how we have been taught as young children, and it is how the medical community deals with health issues. If you go to your doctor with a specific health concern, the symptoms are treated, and you are sent on your way. Very seldom do doctors utilize a whole-health approach and look at the entire body to find connections between illness and the symptoms being experienced. Unfortunately, this is causing people all over the world to suffer needlessly.
Do you know where cavities come from? If you are like most Americans, you have probably spent your entire life believing a lie. Most people firmly believe a diet high in sugary foods and not brushing your teeth will be the main culprit in causing cavities. Unfortunately, this isn't entirely accurate.
When it comes to taking care of our mouths, we’ve been taught wrong all along. Since childhood, we have been told to brush our teeth twice a day for as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice — roughly two minutes. This just isn't long enough, and as we get older, most of us spend even less time than this. We squirt some toothpaste onto our brushes, give them a swish around our mouths, and rush out the door. And spending so little time on brushing, it goes without saying that most of us don't even bother to floss.
It’s no secret that a trip to the dentist can be a costly outing. It makes sense that it woold be: Dentists are thoroughly trained health care professionals who provide a specialized service, and unfortunately, many Americans don’t have sufficient insurance to folly cover these vital services. It is estimated that nearly 25% of all Americans don’t have coverage for proper dental care. Therefore, many of them aren’t getting the treatment they require.
A yearly checkup at your physician’s office usually consists of a complete body exam. They test your reflexes, monitor your pulse and blood pressure, run blood tests, and even take a urine sample. Along with all of these tests, they’ll ask you a whole host of questions about your diet, lifestyle, and mental health. During these physical exams, it seems like your doctor thoroughly examines your entire body, but how often do they look into your mouth and ask about your oral health?
One thing that people often forget is that every part of your body is connected to another part. That means that the health of one area directly affects the health of another. The same is true for the health of your mouth. When you have infections in your teeth and gums, they can quickly spread to other areas of your body, leading to new infections and other health complications.