Your mouth and your oral health serve as a gateway to the rest of your body and your overall health. If you are not familiar with the concept of the mouth-body connection, the idea is quite simple. Consider that your mouth is full of bacteria, most of which are harmless. Daily brushing and flossing can help keep that bacteria under control. Without proper oral hygiene, this bacteria can lead to oral infections such as gum disease (periodontitis) and tooth decay, both of which can potentially make their way into your lungs and the rest of your body. Thus, taking care of your oral health now, will help protect your future health too.
We focus on your complete health to help you with your future health.
Oral bacteria and inflammation related to gum disease can play a role in other conditions. Suppose you suffer from a chronic disease such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, or Alzheimer’s disease. In that case, it can make your body less resistant to infection, making your oral health problems more serious.
For these reasons, the Ada Smile Place team takes a unique approach to dentistry. We believe that our approach to modern dentistry and your complete health and overall well-being are integral in safeguarding your future health.
5 Ways You Can Improve Your Future Health
We all know that diet and exercise can help keep our bodies healthier now and in the future, well, there are similar concepts for our future oral health too. The Ada Smile Place team goes above and beyond by evaluating the health of your gums, treating periodontitis, checking for oral cancer, considering bruxism, evaluating your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) for signs of dysfunction, and asking you about your oral health conditions. These extra steps are just part of what we do to help you focus on your future health because we care about you, and we want you to be healthy today, tomorrow, and into the future.
1.Take care of your gums for your future health.
There are several tactics that you can employ to keep your gums in good health. Nearly 50% of adults in the United States have gum disease, but there are ways to stop periodontitis in its tracks. By following our suggestions, you can prevent red and swollen gums, receding gums, tooth loss, and possibly even halitosis. To maintain healthy gums (and a healthy mouth), try these tips:
- Eating an apple a day can help keep your gums healthy (and it’s good for your overall health too).
- Cutting down on the amount of sugary snacks you consume will reduce your risk of tooth decay.
- Brushing your tongue once per day can help remove harmful bacteria from your mouth.
- Quitting smoking will lessen your chance of gum disease and will have a long-lasting impact on your overall future health.
- Using an electric toothbrush will do a better job of removing plaque below your gum line.
- Using a fresh piece of dental floss every time you floss your teeth will maintain oral hygiene.
- Paying attention to the health of your gums (for example, if they are red or puffy or bleed when you brush) will alert you to when you need to schedule an appointment so Ada Smile Place can help.
2. Regular checks for oral cancer aid in your future health.
As part of your routine visit to Ada Smile Place, we will perform an oral cancer screening. During this assessment, we look at the tissues on your lips and inside your mouth. Specifically, we are looking for red or white patches, thick or hard spots, lumps, or roughened or crusted areas.
You can help us keep an eye on your future health by notifying us right away if you have lip or mouth sores that bleed easily or do not heal. Other signs of oral cancer can include numbness, pain or tenderness, or a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite down. If you are experiencing any of these issues or have problems chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw, please notify the Ada Smile Place team right away.
3. Be aware of bruxism—it can be treated.
Do you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth? If you do this, regardless of whether you are awake or sleeping, it can mean that you have bruxism. Bruxism is most commonly a sleep-related movement disorder. If you clench or grind your teeth during sleep, it is possible that you also have other sleep disorders, such as snoring or sleep apnea. Once you develop bruxism, it can lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth, and other health problems.
Most people who have bruxism are unaware of it until complications start to develop. However, if you find that you are grinding your teeth at night or wake up and find that you are clenching your teeth, give us a call. By getting in front of bruxism, we can work with you on a treatment plan to aid in your future health.
4. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction)
As part of your efforts to maintain your current health to set yourself up for your future health, we suggest that you also be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of TMD. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder can be caused by stress. Similar to bruxism, you may notice that you are clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. The best way to prevent this from happening is to catch it and make conscious efforts to stop it, but sometimes, this is far easier said than done, and in some situations, you may need treatment from the Ada Smile Place team.
In addition to making efforts to control your stress, especially during these trying and turbulent times, be on the lookout for the following symptoms of TMD. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, please let us know by calling our office:
- Jaw discomfort or soreness, especially in the morning or late afternoon.
- Pain behind your eyes or in your face, shoulder, neck, or back.
- Earaches or ringing in your ears.
- Clicking or popping of your jaw.
- Locking of your jaw (often referred to as lock-jaw).
- Limited range of motion with your mouth.
- Clenching or grinding of your teeth.
- Sensitivity of your teeth when we have not already diagnosed you with another oral health ailment.
- Numbness or a tingling sensation in your fingers.
- A change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together.
5. Let Ada Smile Place do an OralDNA test at your next appointment.
Your saliva can provide us with a lot of information about your oral health. We have a painless OralDNA test that you can take in less than a minute. All you need to do is swish and gargle with a saline solution for 30 seconds, then spit the solution into a tube. The information that we can obtain from your results can provide insight into your risk of periodontal infections, periodontal bacteria, and cavity-causing germs. We can leverage your saliva test results to fight oral thrush and diagnose and treat mouth sores.
The Ada Smile Place team is thinking about you and your future health.
At Ada Smile Place, we focus on functional dentistry, which looks at the root cause of illnesses instead of just treating your symptoms. Our goal is to look at your entire body as a system of related organs, and that’s why we don’t stop at just treating your tooth decay or gum disease. However, we can’t do it alone.
Please know that our team has all of our patients, yourself included, in our thoughts every day. Our goal is to provide you with proper oral care and treatment and guidance so that you can take care of your whole self. If you feel that you have concerns we should be aware of after reading this article, please do not hesitate to contact our office. You can also request an Ada Smile Place appointment online.
Together, we can put a plan in place to treat you and your future health.