What Can Your Mouth Reveal About Your Overall Health?

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I am quite sure that you have heard this before, that your mouth can give you and your Family Dentist hints of problems with your health. There have been many articles written on the subject. The Wall Street Journal published one a few years ago titled, “If Your Teeth Could Talk.” The Mayo Clinic just published one titled, “Oral Health:  A Window to Your Overall Health.” It’s time for us to accept that there is a link between our dental health and our overall health. Bacteria live in your mouth. No big surprise!  Much like with other things - it is all about the balance. Balancing the bacteria in your mouth is a lot easier than you think!  Brush for two full minutes (30 seconds per quadrant) two times a day. Then you should floss (between every single tooth).  After that for an extra bonus, you can rinse. At our office, we choose Listerine. I like the antiseptic because it kills those pesky bacteria and gives you nice fresh breath. The non-antiseptic is equally effective but does not contain alcohol. Also, you should visit your Family Dentist at least twice per year for a good cleaning. The problem with, not brushing correctly, frequently, or cutting out steps is that the bacteria will continue to multiply.  If the bacteria are left for long periods of time you may start to notice puffy gums or bleeding when you do floss.  Those may be signs of Gingivitis.  Get back in your routine and those will go away.  If you still leave the bacteria to multiply the Gingivitis can further develop into periodontal disease.  These bacteria that started in your mouth can now travel to other places in your body and cause problems.  The bacteria can build up in your arteries and cause Atherosclerosis (risk of stroke); it can also cause plaque to build up in the arteries of your heart. Those bacteria can even travel through your bloodstream to your lungs and cause repertory problems. Going to the Family Dentist twice a year is good in many ways.  The hygienist will be able to give you a thorough cleaning and tell you if you are missing any spots.  The dentist will also exam your mouth and may alert you to other health problems that need attention like Diabetes, Acid Reflux, Osteoporosis and Oral Cancer. Find toothpaste, floss and mouthwash that you like. There are so many different types available.  Ask your hygienist for recommendations and even if they have any coupon offers available.  Take care of your teeth, they are important!

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