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For many years, it was thought oral health and dentistry were a subset of general health. But doctors and dentists have developed a better understanding of the relationship between oral and general health, which has resulted in earlier detection of dental issues and improved treatments for dental patients. Gainesville dentists with Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry discuss three ways in which good oral health is linked to better overall health.
Since diabetes weakens the body’s ability to resist infection, good oral health has been proven to improve diabetes control. People with diabetes tend to develop gum disease more frequently and at more severe levels than those without. Inflammation, even in the gums, decreases the body’s ability to use what little insulin is produced.
Though causality hasn’t been proven, multiple studies have shown an association between gum disease and cardiovascular issues. One of the current hypotheses is that inflamed or constricted blood vessels in the mouth, particularly the gums, raise blood pressure in the rest of the body. The heart is forced to work harder to pump blood to the constricted areas, thereby increasing the risk of a heart attack.
If your gums have been compromised with gingivitis or gum disease, the bacteria and infection could enter the bloodstream and cause infection and inflammation elsewhere. By diagnosing underlying oral health issues that could be affecting or causing conditions in other areas of the body, a Gainesville dentist may help your general doctor develop the appropriate treatment.
An electric or battery-operated toothbrush is often a great solution for adults suffering from arthritis or other health issues that make it difficult to properly brush their teeth. Plus, an electric toothbrush can be more effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis than a manual toothbrush. If you’re unsure about which electric toothbrush is best for you, ask one of the dentists in Gainesville with Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry for suggestions.
Aside from benefitting overall health, maintaining a diet high in vitamins and nutrients helps oral health. Consuming sufficient levels of Vitamins A and C plays a vital role in preventing gum disease and strengthening the body’s immune system.
Drinking water every day is necessary for good overall health, but drinking tap water can also improve oral health. According to the American Dental Association, as of 2012, nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population on public water systems has access to water with optimum fluoride levels. While the benefits of fluoride generally focus on children, consuming fluoridated water also helps prevent cavities and tooth decay in adults.
Scheduling regular visits with your dentist in Gainesville, FL, is an easy way to keep track of your oral health, and by extension, overall health. During these appointments, your dentist checks for signs of periodontal disease, loose teeth and other dental issues that can impact your general health. To schedule a checkup with a dentist Gainesville residents know and trust, contact Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry today!