Research has shown that oral health and physical health are linked, and that issues in the mouth can be connected to problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and pneumonia.
The problems begin with inflammation around the teeth and gums caused by bacteria.
While the bacteria contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, the inflammation can move into the rest of the body, where it is associated with conditions like heart disease and stroke. What starts off as an oral problem can become a serious concern in other parts of the body.
As a result, it is now not only dentists who are paying attention to the mouth. Physicians are being trained to examine the oral cavity and to encourage parents to bring their children to see a dentist by age one.
Because they see children when they’re very young, before they establish dental care, physicians are beginning to recognise that it’s as important to give good advice about oral health just as they do about other preventative measures like car seats, seat belts and safety equipment. They can also encourage parents to brush their infants’ teeth as soon as they erupt with a smear of fluoridated toothpaste, and to have older children wear mouth guards for sports.
Even as dentists and physicians increase their cooperative efforts, they are aware that it is their patients who ultimately hold the key to better oral health and overall health.
Everyone should keep two things in mind: firstly, dental problems like cavities, plaque and gum disease can be prevented in very easy ways. Secondly, the basics are the most important parts of good oral health – brushing and flossing daily and seeing the dentist at least twice a year.
The mouth is increasingly being recognised as the gateway to the body. It’s important that everybody thinks as much about their oral health as they do their physical health.
Call us here at Dental Care Partnership on 0121 354 1922 to book an appointment with one of our friendly team.