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Good Overall Health Starts With a Healthy Mouth

The health of your mouth impacts more than your ability to flash a brilliant smile, chew food easily, or speak clearly. Research is increasingly linking good dental health to overall body health, creating an increased focus on a new concept known as complete health dentistry.

Learn More about Complete Health Dentistry in Santa Monica

Complete health dentistry focuses on how the health of the mouth relates to the health of the body. It is specific to each patient based on oral health, medical history, and daily habits.

The mouth is the portal through which many infections enter the body. Conversely, illness elsewhere in the body is often reflected in symptoms inside the mouth. Complete health dentistry allows patients to understand the relationship between good dental care and good overall health care, and it enables dental practitioners to provide services that positively impact oral and overall health.

Normally, the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care — such as brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and regular dental visits for teeth cleaning — keep the bacteria in your mouth under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria levels in your mouth can increase, causing a buildup of plaque and tartar, resulting in tooth decay and gum disease (periodontitis).

The bacteria responsible for periodontitis can enter your bloodstream through the gum tissue, causing health issues elsewhere in the body, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy and birth complications, such as premature births and low birth weight
  • Pneumonia
  • Several cancers

Conversely, systemic illnesses elsewhere in your body can negatively affect oral health. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, over 90 percent of systemic diseases have oral symptoms such as lesions and redness or swelling.

We highly recommend informing your dental practice if you have any medical conditions, if you’ve recently been ill, or if you are taking any medications. Medical conditions that could impact your oral health and dental services include:

  • Diabetes
  • Snoring and Sleep Apnea
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Smoking
  • Medications

It’s important to inform your dental professional of medical conditions even if you’re visiting our dental offices for cosmetic dentistry, as those conditions may affect your treatments.

We routinely screen our patients for periodontitis (gum disease). Please let us know if you’ve noticed any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Swollen or red gums
  • Gums that are tender or bleed easily
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Areas of gum that appear to be pulling back from the teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Teeth that are loose

In certain situations, we may offer or refer patients for general health screening tests and specialized tests to help us better care for their oral and overall health.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

If you have signs or symptoms of gum disease or medical conditions that may impact your oral health, contact our dental office today in Santa Monica for a comprehensive dental experience to ensure not just a healthy mouth, but a healthy body.