Although we're at the end of Oral Health Month, it's important to talk about why oral health means so much, and can affect the rest of your body - and life.
Not only does seeing the dentist regularly (usually a check-up once a year, and a cleaning every six months or so) prove helpful in keeping your teeth squeaky-clean, but your dentist or hygienist can also alert you to any problems in your mouth.
Often, things like oral cancer have no symptoms or you may not think they look abnormal, but it never hurts to have a second opinion. If you do have any weird symptoms or lesions in your mouth, be sure to mention it to your dentist or hygienist - if they aren't sure of what they signify, they will be able to refer you to someone to have it checked more thoroughly.
Patients with chronic gum conditions such as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) or advanced periodontal (gum) disease have the highest risk for heart disease caused by poor oral health, especially if it remains undiagnosed and/or unmanaged. The bacteria that are associated with gum infection are in the mouth and can enter the blood stream, where they attach to the blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease. When you see your dentist or hygienist, they can advise you whether you have these diseases or not. They can also recommend more cleaning appointments, different toothpastes, brushes, etc.
And last, but not least... if you ever have questions about ANYTHING dental related - be sure to ask! We understand the dental office can be a scary, anxiety-inducing place. But if we can help anyone get answers, we'd love to try!