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As dental professionals, we always tell our patients to always observe proper dental hygiene, to take good care of their teeth, gums, and mouth in general, and to visit a dentist at least once a year. Sad to say, many of us tend to forget to tell our patients the importance of oral health to our body's overall health.
Why is routine oral check-up important?
Oral health is critical to your overall wellness. Making sure that your mouth, gums, and teeth are healthy do not only help you get rid of gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and other dental problems, it likewise help you prevent various health issues. In addition, getting routine oral check-up will not only help you discover and treat dental problems at their earliest stage, it will likewise help you know if you have health problems with other parts of your body like your heat, digestive system, and bones.
Health problems with oral manifestations
There are various health problems that have signs and symptoms that can be seen inside the mouth. Among these health problems are:
- Dementia or Alzheimer's disease
- Eating disorders
- Pancreatic cancer
- Oral cancer
- Night time reflux
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Dry mouth
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Head and neck cancers
- Pulmonary conditions like sarcoidosis and Wegener granulomatosis
- Endocarditis and other heart problems
- Skin diseases like amyloidosis, psoriasis, and acanthosis nigricans
- Tissue disorders like Kawasaki disease and Sjogren syndrome
Each of these health problems has its own oral manifestations. However, many of these health problems cause dry mouth, swollen gums, discolored teeth and gums, mouth ulcers, and other excessive gum and teeth problems (including those that are visible only when using Schultz dental loupes and other magnification optical aids).
The link between dental health and overall health
The mouth is one of the parts of your body where bacteria thrives. In fact, there can be over 500 species of bacteria dwelling inside the mouth. Although most of these bacteria are harmless, if you don't do something to destroy or control them, they will multiply and eventually reach to a critical level wherein they can impose danger not only to your oral health but also to your overall health.
Aside from regular dental check-up, making the natural defense system of your body stronger and observing proper oral hygiene like brushing and flossing daily can help improve your oral health and can lower your risks to various dental problems (such as gum disease, dental plaque, and tooth decay) and other body infections.