The Importance Of General Dental Care For Our Epsom Patients
If you think that your teeth don’t really contribute to overall health, it’s probably time to reconsider….
It is fair to say that we all want to stay healthy and are thankful to avoid the serious diseases which we see around us every day. Health issues such as cancer can be quite frightening, especially if we have seen others suffer around us. Many of us will change our diet and lifestyle to minimise the risk of health issues such as this, but perhaps don’t pay the same level of attention when it comes to our oral health.
Whilst we don’t claim that losing a tooth comes close to having a serious disease like cancer, it is important to remember that most diseases don’t happen overnight and often have ‘slow burning’ causes. Increasingly, oral health problems are being linked with many serious health issues and we should therefore take care to keep our mouths healthy to help minimise those associated risks.
Oral and general health issues
There are many health issues that have recently been linked to poor oral care, including heart disease, strokes and Alzheimers. Studies have also indicated that those with severe gum disease such as periodontitis are more likely to die of Covid than those with healthy gums.
There are also health conditions that can be directly linked to poor oral care. One of the most obvious of these is oral, or mouth, cancer. Neglecting your teeth and gums can have potentially fatal repercussions if it leads to this and whilst many sufferers do recover, especially if the problem is discovered early enough, it can still leave long term problems such as facial disfigurement and difficulties with speech and swallowing. As with most medical issues, the sooner a problem is detected and treatment can start, the better the outcome usually is. This brings us on to the need to improve how we look after our oral health.
Home and professional care
Healthy teeth and gums start with home care. This includes what we eat and drink as well as our teeth cleaning regimen. Many of us probably use a toothbrush that is too old and don’t pay sufficient attention to our gums, for example. At the Clocktower Dental, Implant and Facial Centre, we recommend that our Epsom patients not only see their dentist every six months, but our dental hygienist as well. This is an important step that many people don’t take, sometimes seeing it as an ‘optional extra’. Most people who do go though will tell you how beneficial it is.
Whilst a dentist can detect issues such as tooth decay and take any restorative action necessary, the dental hygienist has an equally important role to play in preventative oral care, helping you to keep both teeth and soft oral tissue healthy.
Their role consists of discussions with the patient as to how they look after their teeth and gums. Depending on the outcome of these discussions, they may offer suggestions as to how this can be improved. One thing which they have been very helpful in is encouraging patients to start using dental floss. This is something that only around one in five people in the UK currently do but is a great tool in the battle against gum disease. They will be happy to demonstrate how to do this if you wish them to.
The second part of their role is a procedural one which removes tartar, the hardened bacteria and minerals that form on the teeth and gum line. The rough surface this leaves enables yet more bacteria to stick to the teeth and gums. This is removed using a treatment known as a ‘scale and polish’. This is a non-invasive treatment that should cause little or no discomfort and will leave you with teeth and gums that are both healthy and that look and feel cleaner too.
Sense of well being
Whilst this article largely looks at health issues surrounding oral health, the importance of our mental well being should not be overlooked either. Having a healthy mouth means that you will be less concerned with having smelly breath or worrying whether your teeth can cope with certain foods, enabling you to relax and socialise more. Many of our patients also go further and look to improve the appearance of their teeth through cosmetic dental treatments such as the ever popular teeth whitening procedure. A new whiter smile can have a positive effect on our self confidence.
We are here to help you have a healthy mouth. Please don’t neglect this important aspect of your life and take a step towards having healthier teeth and gums by calling the Clocktower Dental, Implant and Facial Centre Epsom on 01372 720136. We look forward to seeing both old and new patients.