After almost two years of living with the threat of COVID-19, most of us are looking forward to a more normal life this new year. In fact, we all could use a boost of our health in 2022. Since you might not have wanted to risk a trip to the dentist during the pandemic (even though a dental office is one of the safest places to be), a good place to start is with your smile. Here we offer suggestions on the many ways your dental team can help meet your health and smile goals.
Start With Your Oral Health Regime
If you missed your regular dental checkups over the past few years, now is the time to get things back on track. You’d be surprised at how much plaque and tartar can build up over a few years. Oral health regimes are so important for your overall health and can help you avoid a long list of dental woes, including:
- Gum disease
- Progressive tooth decay
- Bad breath
- Dull, dingy teeth
A visit to your dentist will assess your oral health and provide professional cleaning to set the stage for your improved oral health care regime in 2022.
Avoid Health Risks Associated With Poor Dental Health
Once your oral health regime is improved, you can avoid many health issues related to poor oral health, including:
- Heart Disease: Poor oral health can increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke due to plaque buildup. Oral plaque can get into your bloodstream and contribute to blocked arteries, increasing the risk for heart disease including heart attack and stroke. As well, the bacteria in your mouth can lead to gingivitis which can allow oral bacteria to get into your bloodstream. When this happens the bacteria can reach your heart, increasing the risk for a heart infection called endocarditis.
- Diabetes: If you have diabetes, inflamed gums can interfere with the proper absorption of your medication. As a result, you can experience high blood sugar levels which makes the inflammation worse, creating a cycle of high blood sugar and periodontal disease.
- Pneumonia: Without proper dental care and oral health, the bacteria in your mouth can land in your lungs, leading to respiratory issues such as pneumonia, especially in the elderly.
- Pregnancy Risks: During pregnancy, poor dental health can affect your unborn baby and your own health. This is because pregnancy hormones are known to increase dental problems, which in turn can increase the risk for premature birth or low birth weight.
The bottom line is that your mouth is the main entry point for the germs that can enter your bloodstream and impact your overall health. Therefore your best defense, along with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, is to maintain good dental health.
Health In 2022 Includes A Personalized Dental Treatment Plan
Your dentist can provide a personalized treatment plan that ensures you maintain optimum dental and overall health. For some, this might simply require proper brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups, while others might require a full mouth reconstruction. You might even have issues with your bite which can impact your overall health. Your personalized dental treatment plan includes:
- Attention to your needs such as those who might suffer from dental anxiety
- Prioritization of work required to meet your budget needs
- Stress-free visits that accommodate your needs such as sedation, shorter visits to avoid TMJ pain, or listening to music to keep you relaxed
- Health considerations based on your overall wellness goals both physically and mentally
- Attention to specific systemic conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease
- Referral to specialists such as periodontists, oral surgeons, medical practitioners, etc.
- Arrangement for special appliances such as aligners for bite or TMJ issues, snoring, etc.
- Replacing old fillings
Your personalized dental treatment plan looks at all aspects of preventative and restorative care to help you meet your oral health goals.
Your dentist provides not only full-mouth exams to determine required treatment, but also head and neck cancer screenings. Oral cancer starts in your mouth or throat and can affect the following areas:
- Soft palate
- Floor of the mouth
- Inner lining of the cheeks
- Upper or lower jawbone
- Hard palate
- Alveolar ridge where the teeth sockets are located
These areas are not included in your physical exams with your family doctor and therefore it is very important to see your dentist for annual checkups to undergo this screening. Although these cancers can be quite aggressive, if caught early they can be treated successfully.
Your sense of wellbeing can also be tied to your appearance. While not everyone worries about their appearance, if you find you are dissatisfied or self-conscious about your smile, it can interfere with your confidence and enjoyment in life. Your dentist can discuss the aspects of your smile you feel could use some improvements, and recommend cosmetic dental treatments to correct them.
Whether you find your teeth are too yellow, you are worried about crooked or misshapen teeth, or you feel your smile is too “gummy” there are many modern cosmetic treatments available to perfect your smile. You can find something that will not only improve your smile but also suit your budget. Some of the common dental cosmetic treatments include:
- Dental Bonding
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Implants
- Porcelain Tooth Crowns
- Teeth Whitening
- Teeth Veneers
- Tooth Straightening
There is something available to address all your smile imperfections for a confident smile you’ll love.
If you suffer from Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders, your dentist can help reduce chronic pain related to TMJ issues. TMJ can cause the following symptoms:
- Jaw joint pain
- Limited opening
- Locking jaw when you open or shut
- Clicking, popping, or grinding noises
- Jaw joint and muscle pain
- Ringing, buzzing, hissing, or pain in the ears not treatable by an ear, nose, and throat specialist
TMJ Treatment helps the upper and lower jaws find the ideal position so your joints and muscles can heal.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing frequently during sleep. It can cause serious health issues including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Memory issues
- Concentration issues
Your dentist can provide treatment to alleviate the symptoms, improve sleep patterns and reduce the risk for further health issues.
As you can see your dentist is not just here to care for your teeth. They contribute to your overall health and wellbeing, making them a valuable member of your health care team. Call today to schedule an appointment at 905-775-5307 or click here to request an appointment.