It is time we have the conversation that our oral health care is an essential part of our overall health care and well being. I believe the wellness community is ready to include oral health in the conversation.
To date the general public has related going to the dentist primarily in order to relieve pain from a tooth ache, treat cavities, improve their smile by straightening their teeth, whitening their teeth or by new crowns, veneers. To replace missing teeth with partials, bridges, dentures or implants……….THE BUILDING AND DECORATING OF A HOUSE.
Very few are aware of the details of their periodontal health let alone know what it is…………..
THE FOUNDATION OF THE HOUSE.
Let us challenge the status quo and have the conversation which I believe is most important which includes what, why and why not about their periodontal (gum) status and it’s relationship to our overall general health and quality of life.
It is a bacterial gum infection that destroys the gums and supporting bone that hold the teeth.
It is one of the most common diseases of humans, is considered an infectious disease caused by bacteria (inflammation) and is found in both men, women and children. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Most people realize that it is important to maintain a good oral health care regime to protect their teeth. What they may not realize is that periodontal disease is an infection, it can enter the blood stream and cause health problems in other parts of the body.
Through years of research it has been substantiated that periodontal (gum) disease may well represent a far more serious threat to the health of millions of people world wide than previously realized. Significant systemic diseases such as diabetes, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disorders and issues related to adverse pregnancy outcomes to name a few have been linked with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease like smoking is considered a risk factor for general health and wellness. A mouth-body connection.
According to the American Dental Association 80 % of Americans over age 65 and 25% of women between age 30 -54 show some degree of periodontal disease.
Warning signs of periodontal (gum) disease may include: persistent bad breath; red, swollen and tender gums; gums that bleed upon brushing; gums that have pulled away from the teeth; loose or separating teeth; pus between the gums and teeth and a change in the way teeth fit together upon biting.
Periodontal disease can be a silent disease, so the majority of people with it do not even realize they have it or ignore it. Most importantly, the absence of signs and symptoms do not always indicate periodontal (gum) health as the signs may be very subtle.
One must have a strong foundation before you build the house!!! A lot of time, money and emotion is spent at the dentist office and lost when the foundation does not support the fancy dentistry to achieve the esthetics we desire. Health and function are possible without aesthetics however, aesthetics are not possible if health and function are absent. It is important to not only focus on the beauty of your smile but also on the health of your smile and how it all relates to your general health.
People are living longer, keeping our teeth longer thus requiring continued care. We surely want to maintain a healthy smile but I believe it is even more imperative for men and women to transform their oral health into better long term general health for a better quality of life. Maintaining Healthy Gums Is True Preventive Medicine.