More and more medical research studies are showing an increased link between oral health and overall health. It makes sense to me, but again, this is my play ground. Bacteria, plaque, material alba, calculas, blood, and spit make for a fun day at the dental office!
We all have bacteria in our mouth, it's when we allow too many to live there that problems occur. There are basically two categories for oral bacteria. One group causes periodontal diesase and the other causes cavities. What most people don't realize is this bacteria is contagious. Babies are not born with oral bacteria flora. When testing the baby's oral bacteria, it was the same as the caregiver, which is usually mom. Amazing! That's why it's so important to keep up with routine checkups and cleanings. As a dental hygienist, our occupation is one of the only ones in prevention. I take my job seriously in helping people to be cavity free. The first set of teeth are free, if not cared for properly, teeth can become very costly.
While it's true no one really needs teeth, they are beneficial when it comes for eating and speaking. Each tooth is important in providing help to the others for chewing. Digestion begins in the mouth first when saliva enters to help moisten and breakdown foods for the stomach. Without adequate teeth to chew, food will go down in larger pieces and digestion will take longer.
Those with diabetes are particularly at risk for periodontal diesase and eventual tooth loss. There is a two way path between oral inflammation and uncontrolled diabetes. The American Diabetes Association has more information on this subject. I always ask for the diabetic patient's A1C level (an inflammatory marker) at each appointment. It helps me gauge information during my dental assessment.
Hopefully, you will find information that is both meaningful and helpful in the posts. In daily practice, there isn't enough time to reveal all the information, however, on this platform more information can be spread to a wider audience. I love my job and teaching patients who want to learn, live better lives.
Health-bite: reduce bacteria in the mouth