Complete Oral Health
Oral health habits are critical to preventing tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. Proper hygiene habits preserve your teeth and can help you avoid tooth loss as you age. But these are not the only reasons you should brush and floss.
A body of research has found that the health of your mouth mirrors the health of your entire body. By brushing, flossing and practicing other healthy dental hygiene habits, you can reduce your risk of developing life-threatening systemic health problems.
The Connection between Oral and Systemic Health
Based on scientific studies, medical and dental experts have identified a link between dental problems and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. There is evidence that untreated dental infection can spread through the body and lead to death.
Doctors and dentists have also discovered that certain diseases can manifest in the mouth first. A routine dental exam may detect a bump or lesion that would otherwise go unnoticed. For example, some of the first signs of AIDS and diabetes can be lesions in the mouth. While these signs may go undetected at home, a dentist can identify them during a routine check-up and order testing to confirm a diagnosis. Early diagnosis can save lives!
What You Can Do
At-home oral hygiene habits are crucial. Brush and floss daily, making sure to reach all of the nooks and crannies between the teeth and under the gumline, where bacteria like to hide.
Eating a healthy diet is also important. Be sure to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are chock-full of vitamins and nutrients, and avoid processed foods as much as possible.
Also make other healthy lifestyle choices. Do not smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly. Manage pre-existing health conditions with the supervision of a trusted physician.
Finally, regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings are essential. Plan to see our team at least every six months or more, depending on our recommendations. Our professional instruments and techniques can clean the areas of your mouth that a toothbrush and floss can miss, and a visual exam can identify signs of tooth decay, gum disease or other dental problems. As mentioned, we are also trained to identify problematic lesions, bumps or patches that could indicate a health concern.
Avoiding Periodontal Disease and Tooth Loss
Dr. Strauss and the team at Aesthetic Dental Care of New Jersey want you to enjoy a healthy, complete set of teeth for as long as possible. You may be surprised to learn that the number one cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease (not cavities). Periodontal disease attacks the structures that support the teeth — i.e., the gums.
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria and plaque are not removed with brushing and flossing and infect the gums. As the disease progresses, it eventually attacks the bone supporting the teeth, which can cause the teeth to loosen and fall out.
In many cases, periodontal disease does not cause any pain until it is in the advanced stages. This is another reason why our team encourages regular dental check-ups — we can detect early signs of the disease, and then treat and monitor it to prevent it from worsening and becoming a threat to your teeth. We can also give you hygiene tips and tricks to use at home to keep your gums clean and healthy.
Contact Aesthetic Dental Care of New Jersey
To learn more about the connection between oral health and overall health, or to book a routine exam, please call (973) 227-8998 or email our practice today.