The Systemic Link

The-Systemic-Link-Dental-Implants

Question: I've heard this term thrown around a lot but I still don't exactly understand how this systemic link effects me and my oral health. Why is it so important?

Dr. Singh: The systemic link is the connection between your oral health and your overall bodily health. Your good or bad oral health can be connected to your increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more. If you don't take care of your oral health, you're essentially damaging and overlooking your general health as well. They both go hand in hand, if you keep a healthy mouth, you'll have a healthier body.

Question: What part of my oral health is directly connected to affecting my overall health if I don't currently have any health issues?

Dr. Singh: Periodontal Disease (gum disease) is the systemic link between your oral health and overall health. Research has shown that the inflammation from gum disease affects the blood vessels, contributing to atherosclerosis. If oral bacteria travel through your blood stream, it can cause inflammation in other parts of your body, like the lining of your heart, or narrow your arteries, increasing the risk of blood clots. The bacteria essentially stick to fatty plaques, contributing to artery blockages. Letting something like gum disease progress over time will in turn eventually degrade your overall health, and you will likely encounter health problems at some point if you are not maintaining your oral health through meticulous home care and professional cleanings.

Question: How does this systemic link with gum disease affect me if I already have existing health problems?

Dr.Singh: If you already have existing health conditions and you are not maintaining your oral health, it could make your current health issues much worse and sometimes lead to further complications. If you are a patient with current medical conditions, improving your oral health can potentially help improve your overall bodily health by eliminating or reducing one source (oral) of bacteria.

Question: Can you explain what periodontal disease (gum disease) looks or feels like and what I can do to prevent it?

Dr. Singh: You might have periodontal disease if you are experiencing any of the following:

  1. Red, swollen gums that bleed easily with brushing and flossing;
  2. Receding gums that pull away from the teeth;
  3. Changes in your bite;
  4. Teeth that are becoming loose or separated;
  5. Chronic bad breath; or
  6. Changes in the way partial dentures fit.

Your best bet to be sure is to maintain your recommended hygiene appointments and dental exams, but also to continue with good oral health home care habits. If you're ever unsure, or feel your oral health condition is worsening, you can always give us a call to book an appointment to find out what is going on in your mouth and see what treatment options are available to you. Today we have many new methods of battling periodontal disease, such as new medications and specialized lasers for bacterial reduction, so your chances of improving your health are better than ever!

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Thursday, 22 August 2019