The Overall Health and Oral Health Connection
Published on July 14, 2016, Updated on April 24, 2020
Many of our patients are surprised to learn just how connected their oral health is to their overall body health and wellness. Some health conditions directly affect the health of your mouth. Sometimes it’s the illness that affects mouth health, and sometimes it’s a treatment. Dr. Hardy at Belmar Orthodontics in Lakewood can preserve your oral health in spite of other challenges you may be dealing with. Let us know of any health conditions you have so we can better treat you. Certain health conditions will require extra oral health care steps to prevent problems. Taking good care of your teeth and gums by proper oral hygiene habits is an essential part of preventing tooth and tissue decay. You may need to see a member of our team more frequently for checkups and cleanings while you are facing a health issue that affects your teeth. Our team is here to support and care for your oral health and encourage total body health.
More than Just Your Teeth
Your mouth reveals much more than just the health of your teeth. It also gives important clues about your overall health to your dentist or orthodontist. Oral health professionals are trained to be able to spot other symptoms and signs in your mouth related to disease and conditions that can manifest symptoms in your mouth. Health-related conditions that can show up your mouth include:
- oral cancer
- temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
- thyroid problems
- iron deficiency/anemia
- eating disorders (bulimia and anorexia)
Getting You the Care You Need
When you become part of the Belmar Orthodontics family, Dr. Hardy is committed to offering you the best care he can–both for your oral health needs and overall health needs. It is important that you are open with us about current and past medical history so we can ensure that you get appropriate and needed treatment in a timely and effective manner. During your initial consult with Dr. Hardy, discuss with him any current health issues that you are combating so he can make needed adjustments to your care. Radiation, chemotherapy, blood thinners, and other prescription drugs can all affect how we administer treatment. If at anytime, your health changes, call our office so we can be aware and make necessary changes.
Obtaining Your Beautiful Smile Is a Team Effort
As an invested patient, you are working hard to obtain a beautiful, healthy smile. Belmar Orthodontics is invested in helping you obtain this goal, but just because you have an orthodontist on board doesn’t mean that you don’t need to continue to involve your dentist in your oral health care treatment and goals. Your dentist, orthodontist, and their staff members are all committed to helping you reach your goals. They all have a unique role to play. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) refers to this as a team effort. Remember that each member of your team must be included for you to achieve your best results. “Achieving healthy, beautiful smiles is a team effort that involves the orthodontist, the family dentist, the patient (and the parents, if the patient is young) and, as needed, other dental specialists. The orthodontist provides the expertise, the treatment plan and the techniques to straighten teeth and align the jaws. The family dentist helps make sure that teeth and gums stay clean and healthy. The patient must cooperate by following the dentist’s and the orthodontist’s instructions carefully so that the teeth and jaws move in the way desired and on the prescribed schedule.”
What to Do If You Have a Disease Affecting Your Oral Health
One of the biggest things you can do to combat the damaging effects of a disease that impacts your oral health is to enlist the help of your oral health care team (orthodontist, dentist and staff) from the very beginning. Prevention is key to stopping oral health problems before they can gain momentum. Patients that are at increased risk for decay, tissue weakness, mouth sores, bone loss, dry mouth, infections, and bleeding need thorough, frequent care. There are a couple of preventative actions that are especially important to practice if you have a disease that affects your oral health:
Deep cleanings (also known as scaling and root planing) may not be your favorite procedure when you visit your dentist, however, it is usually the best periodontal treatment defense for reversing gum disease when found in its early stages. Gum health is not a low-priority issue. Periodontal disease not only impacts the looks and health of your smile, but your overall health as well. Gums protect the roots of your teeth and stop dangerous bacteria from entering your bloodstream. Deep cleanings are an vital part of keeping your mouth strong when other health conditions weaken it.
Daily Personal Oral Hygiene Attention
Commit now to regular brushing and flossing. Patients that have diseases or conditions that put them more at risk for problems usually need to see their orthodontist and dentist more frequently to make sure their mouths are staying healthy. Learn and incorporate proper oral hygiene habits and practices so you have the reassurance that you are doing your part to keep yourself healthy.
Call for an Oral Health Consultation
Belmar Orthodontics understands that abnormal physical health conditions can be stressful and wear you out physically and mentally. Keeping your mouth healthy and not adding any new physical trials to what you are already facing is what our preventive care and attention is all about. Seek our help early so we can establish preventive strategies with your dentist so we can keep you and your mouth healthy. We are here to help! Please call our Lakewood office today if you are suffering from a disease that affects your oral health at 303.225.9016. Together, we are stronger.