The classic hygiene appointment of the past is so much more today than just cleaning your teeth. The truth is, the average person visits their dentist and hygienist more often than they go in for a preventative medical check-up. We now know there is a direct connection between oral health and overall health. Your dental visit and hygiene appointment is one you do not want to miss. It’s important for you to know that what gets discovered at your routine dental cleaning can also save your life.
We know there is a connection between inflammation in the mouth and inflammation in the body, and when this goes unchecked, this shows up in the form of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
In my dental practice in New York City and other dental offices throughout the country, we optimize your hour spent with the hygienist and dentist with oral cancer screenings, periodontial exams performed with the latest technology to check the health of the gums, nutritional assessments, and digital x-rays to check the hard tissues of the mouth, teeth and bone around the teeth. In my opinion, the hygienist has now become the Oral Health Coach, educating and working along with the dentist to protect and prevent, detect disease, and offer advice on how to maintain a healthy mouth, a smart nutritional focus, great hygiene, and overall well-being.
Your mouth is a window to your overall health. Nutrition plays a critical role. If your body doesn’t get the proper nutrition, it can show up on various places in your mouth – your tongue, your gums, and the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. Very often, when something flares up, loosens, or simply looks different within your mouth, it’s your body’s way of asking for some type of nutrient it doesn’t have enough of. Your Oral Health Coach can help identify which vitamin deficiency you may have and offer you healthy, safe ways to incorporate them back into your system.
If you notice any sudden changes in your mouth, contact your dentist and make an appointment. If you notice white or red patches in your mouth, lumps or bumps, or unexplained bleeding in the mouth, you may be experiencing some signs and symptoms of oral cancer. Schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately.
Eating a healthy balanced diet will make you feel better, increase your energy level, is good for your dental health, and will make you smile more often.
Whatever you have committed to do this year, whether it is to lose weight, eat healthier, be more active, smile more often, improve your overall health, have a brighter whiter smile, straighten or fix crooked teeth, this year’s visit to the dental office can help achieve these goals. If you haven’t already, schedule your first dental appointment in 2012.