Prevention is key to saving yourself time, money, and future health problems
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.
Visiting a dentist on a regular basis – many dentists suggest going every six months – can benefit you in more ways than you imagine. A dentist can help you identify signs of health conditions such as gum disease or an infection in the mouth and refer you to a physician. Many times these conditions have no pain, so you might not realize you have a health problem. It’s important to address oral health conditions before they get worse. An infection in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body and lead to bigger health problems.
A dentist will monitor the health of your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, and pay attention to any signs of gum disease. A dentist will also help you identify the right method of cleaning your mouth based on your oral health. Dentists may encourage some patients to add an extra teeth cleaning to their regime – three cleanings a year instead of two.
We recommend you discuss the health of your mouth with your physician as well. Opening the communication lines between dentists and physicians will greatly improve patient health. If a health condition is connected to a dental issue, then all medical professionals should be discussing the best ways to treat the problem. You can download this free PDF explaining the five questions you should ask your dentist. It includes a health checklist that you have your dentist fill out then give to your primary care physician. This is a great way to ensure your oral and overall health care remain connected.