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Healthy mouth, healthy body – what’s the connection?
Posted 31 October 2019
Maintaining good oral health doesn’t just give you a healthy smile, it has great health benefits as well. We spoke to Health Partners Dentist Alyson Loughlin to find out how regular visits to the dentist can help your overall health and wellbeing.
Your mouth doesn’t operate in isolation from the rest of your body, and what happens in there can have a flow-on effect.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it’s more commonly known, has been linked to a variety of chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and aspiration pneumonia. Seeing your dentist regularly can ensure that you maintain good gum health and help reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease.
Babies born to mothers with periodontal disease are also more likely to be born early (pre-term birth) and have lower birth weights.
What actions can you take to reduce your risk?
Good oral hygiene is often the best defence.
Avoiding excess sugar and acid in your foods helps to avoid decay and the wearing down of enamel.
While brushing your teeth twice daily, in the morning and before bed, flossing at least once a day can also help you to maintain good oral health.
Alyson says, “I can’t stress enough how important it is to make the dentist part of your oral health care routine.”
While maintaining good oral hygiene day-to-day is essential, it doesn’t eliminate the importance of seeing your dentist regularly. Think of your dentist as your partner in managing your oral health.
Your dentist is able to ensure continuity of care by developing an ongoing relationship with you during your regular dental check-ups.
Alyson says, “When someone comes in to see a Health Partners Dentist for an examination, we will check their medical history, examine their gums, screen for soft tissue diseases including oral cancer, check for dental decay in their teeth and under restorations.”
Health Partners Dentists also routinely discuss individual concerns such as disease prevention, long term treatment planning and cosmetic treatment at these routine appointments.