Figure out your primary care physician’s stance on oral care and how it affects your entire body.
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?
If your doctor is like so many others, the answer to this question is probably never. It’s your primary care physician’s job to ensure that you’re in the best possible physical and mental condition. They aim to diagnose diseases early on in order to give you the most effective treatment options. They also work with you to help you make good lifestyle choices to help prevent illnesses from occurring in the first place. However, if this is the case, why aren’t more doctors concerned about their patients’ oral care?
Your mouth is the front door to your body.
Nearly everything that enters your body comes in through your mouth, from the food you eat to the bacteria and viruses that attack your system. That means that optimal oral care is extremely important. Bacteria can easily build up on your teeth and gums and, if you don’t deal with it immediately, can lead to infections. When this occurs, the bacteria from your mouth enter your system, travel through our blood, and can lead to a wide range of severe medical conditions.
Remember: If it’s in your mouth, it can travel anywhere in your body.
Illnesses such as heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, bacterial pneumonia, and rheumatoid arthritis can all stem in part from poor oral health. Fortunately, taking care of your teeth and gums can help prevent these serious health complications.
One of the most important things you can do to stave such diseases off is to clean your teeth thoroughly. A few minutes a couple of times a day isn’t sufficient to remove all of the bacteria and plaque that builds up in your mouth. You need to ensure that you spend some quality time with floss, directed water irrigation tools, tiny brushes in between your teeth, and classic brushing to ensure that you remove every particle of food and bit of bacteria to keep your mouth free from dental infections and keep your entire body healthy.
Is your doctor a good fit for you?
The next time you visit your doctor’s office for your annual physical, ask them this question: “Do you think that the health of my mouth affects the health of the rest of my body?”
Their response to this question will give you significant insight into their stance on oral health. A knowledgeable doctor will understand the relationship between your oral health and how it can affect other systems in your body. These doctors will take a whole-body approach to wellness and ensure that you’re getting the best possible care when it comes to your health.
If your doctor seems uncertain about the connection between the health of your mouth and whether it can affect your overall health, it’s time to educate them! Unfortunately, there are still far too many physicians in America and around the world who aren’t well-educated on oral health and the vast array of diseases that neglecting oral health can cause.
Our goal at the Dental Medical Convergence is to spread awareness to physicians and other health care practitioners about the importance of good oral hygiene and the medical conditions that can result from not taking proper care of your teeth and gums. We have made it our mission to bring dentists and physicians together to proactively prevent diseases and become more efficient at treating a wide variety of conditions. To support the Dental Medical Convergence, contact us today.
And remember: The next time you visit your primary care physician, find out their position on oral health.