At Barksdale Dental, our team cares about your total health care needs and will educate you about the treatment options when appropriate that will best improve your health. Research shows oral health is integral to one’s overall health and well-being. Oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities. Oral health is a critical component of health and must be included in the provision of health car and the design of community programs.
Good oral health means much more than healthy teeth. It means being free of chronic oral-facial pain conditions, throat cancers, oral soft tissue lesions and many other diseases and disorders that affect the oral, dental, and facial tissues. These structures are paramount and represent the essence of humanity. They allow us to speak, smile, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and convey feelings and emotions through facial expressions. Oral health also clearly has an impact on the quality of life. Oral disease and disorders can interfere with the functions of daily living, including participation in work or school, limitations in communications and social interactions.
Recent research is pointing to associations between chronic oral infections and heart and lung diseases, stroke, low birth weight, and premature births. Associations between periodontal disease (gum disease) and diabetes have been long established.
A thorough oral examination can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies as well as a number of systemic diseases, including microbial infections, immune disorders, injuries, and some cancers. The common analogy of the mouth is a mirror of your overall health has been used to illustrate the wealth of information that can be derived from examining the oral tissues.
A mouth-healthy diet includes foods high in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and dairy products. Avoiding sugary drinks and snacks will not only help avoid cavities but your waistline will thank you, too!
People with diabetes are more prone to developing periodontal disease more commonly referred to as gum disease. According to the American Dental Association, “Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, affecting nearly 22% of those diagnosed. Especially with increasing age, poor blood sugar control increases the risk for gum problems. In fact, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum problems because of poor blood sugar control. As with all infections, serious gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise. This makes diabetes harder to control because you are more susceptible to infections and are less able to fight the bacteria invading the gums.”
At Barksdale Dental, our dental team can help with regular professional cleanings and monitor you for other dental symptoms that may indicate your diabetes isn’t well controlled. Be sure to let us know if you have been diagnosed with diabetes (or other health conditions) so we can be sure to customize your treatment.
Oral cancer screenings have become a routine part of your regular dental exam. Identifying oral cancers early allows for earlier intervention and treatment. Oral cancer can happen to anyone but use of tobacco products (including smoking cigarettes, pipes, and cigars as well as oral tobacco products) and consuming alcohol can increase your risk.
Skin cancer can even appear on lips so don’t forget to use a lip balm with SPF to help protect your mouth.
Cancer treatments can have a negative impact on your oral health. Patients may develop dry mouth, mouth sores, gum and teeth sensitivity, and jaw pain. Discuss any treatment you may be undergoing or symptoms you are having with your dentist. Our team can help advise you on the best way to maintain your mouth before, during and after treatment.
Sexually Transmitted Disease
While this might seem like an unusual topic to discuss at your dentist’s office, there are some common STDs that can affect your oral health. HPV (human papilloma virus) is the most commonly transmitted STD in the United States. Most types of HPV are cleared by the body’s own immune system but several are associated with higher risks of head and neck cancers, including oral cancers. Other STDs can also present with lesions in the mouth or throat.
Routine oral cancer screenings provided by the dentist can help identify oral cancers and other concerns. For more information about this topic, visit www.mouthhealthy.org.
It is safe to undergo routine dental care during all stages of pregnancy, in fact, it’s recommend that you maintain good dental habits and regular dental visits to avoid some pregnancy related symptoms.
Some women experience more sensitive gums and gingivitis as a result of fluctuating hormones. Proper brushing and flossing habits will help avoid and minimize these effects.
If you are experiencing morning sickness, make sure to brush or rinse to help remove any stomach acids that can damage the enamel of your teeth.
Maintaining a healthy diet is good for your baby and your teeth. Avoid sugary snacks and drinks. Drink plenty of water instead of sweetened drinks during the day. Get more information about Pregnancy and Dental Health at www.mouthhealthy.org.