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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.