The Dental Medical Convergence

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Visiting the dentist isn’t just about checking on the health of your teeth and gums. It can benefit your overall health, too. After all, the mouth and body are connected. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows poor oral health can contribute to certain diseases, such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications, and pneumonia. That’s why The Dental Medical Convergence is working to educate families, dentists, and physicians on the link between oral health and overall health.

The Dental Medical Convergence shared important information with members of the Golden Triangle Kiwanis Club at their monthly meeting in August. Dr. Chuck Reinertsen, retired dentist and founder of The Dental Medical Convergence, talked to the club about the surprising connection between oral health and overall health. Speaking engagements like this are one of the ways the nonprofit is working to educate families and the medical community.

Caring for your teeth and gums means cleaning them on a regular basis. Did you know certain foods and drinks can also benefit your oral health? Since oral health is linked to overall health, it’s important to pay close attention to the food you eat and how you clean your teeth each day. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help your dental health. It’s important to maintain good dental health because of the way it impacts your body. Poor oral health is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetic complications, strokes and other diseases. Eating and drinking the items on this list can help you strengthen your teeth, keep your body healthy and avoid health complications. 

Have you ever spit out a little blood after brushing your teeth? If your gums bleed when you clean your teeth on a regular basis, it’s time to see the dentist. Bleeding gums could be a sign of a much bigger dental issue.

If you’re ready to make a simple change to your lifestyle that will have big results, we’re here to guide you. The Dental Medical Convergence is on a mission to provide educational resources to families, medical professionals and consumers. In our latest webinar, “Your Mouth is Key to Your Overall Health,” we’re sharing the information you need to know about how your oral health impacts your overall health. We’re also sharing tips to properly care for your mouth, which will benefit your whole body.

Keeping your mouth clean doesn’t just give you fresh breath and a pretty smile. It has other lifelong benefits to your overall health and well-being.

Do you ever take a sip of water or bite into a meal and feel a little pain? Tooth sensitivity is very common. Dr. Chuck remembers many, many of his patients complaining of tooth sensitivity over his four decades as a dentist. Read on to learn how to alleviate this feeling and to find out if it could be caused by a health issue.

It’s that time of year again – students are headed back to school. Here’s one thing you can do to ensure your child doesn’t miss many school days this year: Keep an eye on their dental health. 

Your child’s primary teeth, also known as their “baby teeth,” are worth protecting. Just because they’ll lose these teeth doesn’t mean you shouldn’t properly and regularly clean them. Caring for these teeth starting at a young age means your child will adopt lifelong oral care habits, prevent future health problems, and avoid costly dental bills. 

In our latest Ask Me Anything segment, one of The Dental Medical Convergence’s followers wanted to know why medical insurance does not cover dental needs. This is a great question. After all, the mouth is part of the body!

The CDC reports that almost half of Americans age 30 and over have some form of gum disease. That’s a lot of people affected by something that is preventable. It’s also concerning because if gum disease is not properly treated, it can lead to cardiovascular and respiratory problems, diabetic complications, and other diseases. That’s why we created a PDF guide, “How gum disease affects overall health,” to provide you with all the research, prevention tools, and helpful resources you need to prevent and/or treat this disease. 

A piece of chocolate or a handful of gummy bears might satisfy your sugar craving, but how does that treat affect your dental health? One of our followers at The Dental Medical Convergence recently asked Dr. Chuck how they can still eat candy while preventing dental problems. This is a tricky question to answer.

While you use your teeth over and over throughout the day, certain things you do can harm your teeth. Read on to learn what to avoid doing and tips for correcting these habits.

Caring for your teeth doesn’t just provide you with a great smile, white teeth, and fresh breath. Caring for your teeth also means you’re protecting your heart, your lungs, and your overall health. It’s all part of the oral-systemic connection. More and more research has emerged over the last 20 years to support the link between oral health and overall health. The Dental Medical Convergence is on a mission to share this important health information with patients, dentists, and doctors.

The long, warm days of summer are here. Children are enjoying summer break, families are taking vacations, and routines often lose track. That’s OK! You can still continue proper oral care while enjoying the dog days of summer. When it’s hot outside, children often reach for juices, ice pops, and salty snacks to satisfy their cravings. Here are four of the best snack and drink choices for your teeth, and tips for preventing tooth decay.

It’s important to introduce your child to oral health care at a very young age. This is beneficial in order to learn how to properly care for your child’s teeth, get them comfortable visiting a dentist on a regular basis and establish a love of oral hygiene that will last a lifetime. The best way to get started is to visit a dentist at age 1 so you can learn the most effective way to properly clean your baby’s teeth. The dentist or hygienist can spend time with you, watching how you clean your baby’s teeth and offer corrections or suggestions. The baby sits on your lap in the dental chair.  It’s more comfortable for the baby.  A dentist wants a very positive experience for the baby and parent in order to establish a connection that makes visiting the dentist a routine part of life. It’s best to continue seeing the dentist every six months.

“Your mouth is the front door to your body.” You’ll hear this a lot around here at The Dental Medical Convergence. There’s much truth in that statement. Think about it: Do you like the front door and entryway of your home to be littered with trash and dirt? Probably not. One of the first things people probably notice about you is your smile. That’s your front door. It’s not about having perfect, straight and clean teeth – it’s about having a healthy mouth. That one thing can tell a lot about what’s going on inside the rest of your body.

Effective oral hygiene not only prevents cavities; research shows it can prevent cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications, and pneumonia. That’s why it’s a good idea to start caring for the mouth at a young age to build a lifetime habit. Children are like sponges. They absorb all the information they see and hear on a daily basis. Read ahead for tips to create a lifetime of love for oral hygiene at a young age.

Today’s increasing everyday costs mean many Americans are looking for ways to save money. One simple way to save yourself time and money is on your at-home dental hygiene routine. Cleaning your teeth the most effective way means you won’t have to spend money on dental problems like cavities and root canals, along with bigger health problems that can arise from oral infections, like cardiovascular disease. You don’t even need to spend money on a toothbrush. If you visit the dentist for a routine cleaning every six months, you’ll usually get a free one.

You could say Dr. Chuck Reinertsen’s interest in connecting the mouth to overall health began many, many years ago when he was a Boy Scout. “We learned about infections and how to clean a wound,” he told Dr. Jesse Green during a recent interview on The Savvy Dentist Podcast. That knowledge of caring for infections stuck with him until dental school. “We asked some of the instructors: ‘What about the infections in the mouth? Aren’t they going to get in the bloodstream?’” Dr. Chuck says they were told no because of an oral barrier, a myth he says has since been debunked.

More and more research has emerged in the last 20 years explaining the impact oral health has on overall health. In a recent podcast, Dr. Chuck Reinertsen discussed this growing body of research and why it’s time for doctors and dentists to connect over patient health. Dr. Jesse Green, host of The Savvy Dentist, asked Dr. Chuck about bridging the gap between medical professionals and about oral-systemic health in this podcast episode.

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. 

Taking good care of your teeth and gums not only gives you a nice smile, it prevents other health complications such as gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is linked to serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes, low birth weight in infants, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. The good news is that you can save yourself money and a trip to the doctor by making these three changes to your at-home oral care routine:

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.

Most people don’t know the surprising connection between the health of the mouth and the health of the body. Mounting research points to a correlation between poor oral health and diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetic complications, and dementia. If these health problems could be prevented through proper oral care, then why aren’t more doctors and dentists talking about this important topic? That’s what Dr. Charles Reinertsen has been wondering for years. It’s why he founded The Dental Medical Convergence in 2021.

You may not know this, but the health of your mouth can impact the health of your body. Your mouth is full of bacteria, and if you don't properly care for your teeth, the bad bacteria can enter your bloodstream and spread to other parts of your body. That’s why we created a guide with five questions you should ask your dentist. These questions can lead to eye-opening oral health information that could be connected to other health issues in your body.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans. That’s why the entire month of February is devoted to raising awareness for cardiovascular health. Preventing heart disease can start with caring for your mouth. Most Americans don’t realize oral health may play a part in heart health. Research shows that people with gum disease have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular issue. The Dental Medical Convergence began with the intent of educating people on the role oral health plays in the rest of the body’s health, including cardiovascular health.

Preventing heart disease can be as simple as cleaning your teeth every day. More and more research illustrates that periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is linked to many other health problems. That’s why The Dental Medical Convergence is raising awareness about the importance of oral health.

Your mouth holds the key to your overall health. That’s why it’s so important to make the right dental choices. Here’s a list of questions you should ask at your next dental visit:

You may not have any pain or notice any symptoms but still be in the early stages of gum disease, also known as Periodontitis. This kind of disease starts with bacteria in your mouth and could lead to tooth loss and much worse: Heart attacks, strokes and diabetic complications. The good news is that once your dentist tells you about the gum disease, you have an opportunity to make some oral hygiene improvements before things get worse.

Too many Americans wait to feel pain before they seek dental help. When it becomes too uncomfortable to chew their food or the pulsing in their mouth keeps them up at night, it signals that an urgent visit to the dentist is in order. Unfortunately, some of the most severe dental complications don’t present with any pain at all — periodontal disease especially is almost always pain-free. There are usually very few symptoms of this condition; however, it can have severe effects on the body.

Starting a New Year’s resolution can be as simple as putting your own health first — by scheduling your annual physical and a dental exam. Making these appointments every January is a good habit to start now.

Wearing braces can help you achieve the perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of. Whether your dentist recommends traditional metal braces or the newer invisible orthodontic devices, each works in a similar way by gently forcing your teeth into alignment over an extended period of time. As your teeth slowly shift, the bones beneath them shift as well, and in no time, your teeth are straight and aligned, just as they should be. Of course, it’s not exactly a walk in the park: One of the biggest downfalls of having braces is the extra care required to take good care of your teeth until the braces come off. Braces make brushing and flossing your teeth much more difficult, and the tiny nooks and crannies that braces create are the perfect hiding spots for food particles and bacteria. If you don’t modify your dental hygiene practices while wearing braces, you could end up with a straight smile that’s filled with cavities and periodontal disease.

Here’s an example of how what goes on inside your mouth affects the rest of your body: A simple tooth infection or abscess can lead to serious systemic complications.  A tooth infection occurs when bacteria or pus collects inside the tooth or gum. Signs and symptoms of a tooth infection:

Oral health isn’t just connected to your body’s physical health; it’s also connected to your mental health. Growing research shows that people who have mental health problems also often have dental problems like periodontitis.

Founder of The Dental Medical Convergence, Dr. Chuck Reinertsen, likes to say that the mouth is the front door to the body, and it’s an open door. That’s why it’s so easy for bad bacteria to enter your body.

The holidays are a time to celebrate, eat festive treats and toast to our family and friends. But all those gingerbread cookies, eggnog cocktails, and candy canes wreak havoc on our dental health. Here’s some advice when it comes to drinking, eating, and making merry over the holiday season.

What you need to know about vascular disease and your oral health When most people hear the word “plaque,” they think of the scaly buildup that can accumulate on the surface of their teeth. However, another type of plaque can build up in your body, lining the walls of your arteries and leading to severe health complications and even death.

Many of us have experienced the excruciating pain of a toothache — the kind of pain that over-the-counter medications just won’t alleviate. While this type of dental problem may be due to a cavity, an infection in the gums can also cause it.

The source of many diseases is right under your nose. But if you’re like most people, you don’t realize the connection between your mouth and your overall health. That’s because most doctors don’t ask about your mouth or teeth during routine checkups. 

The foods you eat have a direct effect on your oral health. Not only do they provide you with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to keep your teeth strong and healthy, but they can also play a primary role in how healthy your mouth is as a whole.

Proper oral hygiene is essential at all stages of life. As you age, changes to your health and body can make monitoring your dental health even more critical. Certain medications can affect your teeth, causing dry mouth and leading to oral irritations. You can also begin to experience the effects and damage from years of eating hard or overly acidic foods. 

Modern medicine has made leaps and bounds in finding cures for many different conditions and diseases. Scientists and agencies spend billions of dollars on funding research into device-focused treatment options that will eliminate symptoms and treat illnesses, but very little is done to delve into the root causes of our problems.

Visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings is crucial to maintaining good oral hygiene. Even more important, however, is what happens at home between these visits. Developing healthy oral care habits at home is vital for preventing cavities and gum disease and can help keep your teeth strong for years to come.