It all starts in the mouth… | VDH Hunt Valley, MD
Every day there is more evidence that overall systemic health is profoundly impacted by oral health. A recent article reviewed some of the oral-systemic links that receive the most attention from the healthcare profession.
Valley Dental Health was founded on the principal that oral health is and should always be one part of a multi-faceted health program. We believe that a state of health cannot be achieved without attention to the mouth and supporting structures.
The mouth is a unique environment. The body’s first line of defense is the skin, and the soft tissue that covers and lines the mouth can be thought of as an extension of the skin. The only place on the human body where there is a breach of the integrity of this barrier is the mouth, where teeth penetrate through the soft tissue. In a state of oral health, the gum tissue attaches firmly to the roots of the teeth, forming a seal that limits the access of oral bacteria into the body. Flossing, brushing, and regular dental visits with professional cleanings help ensure that the soft tissue remains firmly attached to the teeth. However, when teeth and gums are not cleaned on a regular basis oral bacteria can form colonies that result in inflammation of the gums. This inflammation can lead the attachment of the gums to the roots to loosen, giving oral bacteria access to the blood vessels of the gums. Multiple systemic health problems have been linked to this process, including cardiovascular disease, heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and problems with reproduction. The inflammatory process can also result in an ulcerated, festering sore under the gum line which is oftentimes detectable by the presence of bleeding when flossing. It is estimated that the cumulative size of the sore in an adult patient with moderate periodontal diseases is the size of an adult palm!
A complete oral health program is important to establish overall health. Your team at Valley Dental Health will put together a program that is appropriate for you. We will make recommendations regarding the type of toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, rinse and other oral health products that are appropriate for you. We will also customize the frequency of professional exams and cleanings you need to ensure maintenance of oral health.
As always, if you have any dental or oral-systemic concerns, we are here for you!