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Posts Tagged ‘oral cancer screening’

Oral Health & Overall Health…It’s all Connected!

In Oral Systemic on December 8, 2011 at 4:30 AM

We’re familiar with the kneebone connected to the leg bone deal, but how familiar are we with the incisor connected to the heart relationship?

As more information and research becomes available to the masses, we keep hearing more about the health of our teeth and gums having a direct connection to our overall health.

We like to purport this advancement in technology, research, and education as something new and wonderful in the world of medical or dental science, but unfortunately we can’t really make that claim because this news is not necessarily new. Join Us for a Great Cause - Purchase a Discount Dental Plan & Help the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Dentists and doctors have known about this oral systemic connection for some time, so how come now all the hubbub associated with gum disease and heart health, or diabetes risk factors in dentistry, and mandatory oral cancer screenings?

Because as patients, whether it is medical patients or dental patients, we’re still pretty uninformed and ignorant about the condition of our condition.

Think about it, when do we most often go to learn all we can about a subject – as it relates to our health?

It seems we strive to learn all we can and soak up the knowledge of this or that medical/dental malady only AFTER we learn someone close to us has been affected, or maybe after we’re affected personally.

As patients – both to our physicians and our dentists – we need to do a better job of communicating, asking questions, and paying attention to health news our medical professionals hopefully share with us on an at least semi-regular basis.

And our doctors and dentists need to do a better job of educating us and effectively communicating with their local communities, beyond the quick office visit convo.

A cursory 5 minute conversation once or twice a year is simply not enough time to discuss optimal oral and overall health.

So the next time you hear some scintillating dental health news, don’t be shy – share the info!

If your associates, family, virtual circles, tweeps, yelpers, and facebook friends share their latest Angry Birds score with the whole world, don’t you think a little dental health and oral systemic connection info could go a long way?

Community Based Systemic Health & Wellness Centers

We all can’t be lucky enough to have the pleasure and security of twice yearly visits to a dental office like the HealthCare Connection in Cincinnati, Ohio.

According to a recent local news story, this medical office was recently recognized by DentaQuest Institute and the National Network for Oral Health Access as a “Center of Excellence that has displayed leadership in oral health practice management and has improved the oral health status of its patients.”

The award was presented at the National Primary Oral Health Conference this past October.
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We’d like to join in the recognition of Lynda Roberts-Riddle, D.D.S. and her entire staff as trailblazers and forerunners in their ongoing efforts to educate the surrounding community about the oral systemic connection, and their never-ending battle against the cavity creeps!

“This recognition shows that we are making a difference for our patients,” says Lynda Roberts-Riddle, D.D.S., director of The HealthCare Connection’s Dental Center. “Instead of putting out fires, we are creating treatment plans, educating our patients and monitoring their progress while at the same time being fiscally responsible.”

She also stresses the importance of integrating physical and oral health.

“Sometimes people forget how important oral health is as a component of medical health. Our focus is providing a patient centered health home, which encompasses both medical and dental health” says Dolores Lindsay, CEO of The HealthCare Connection.

“We’re very proud of the work that Dr. Riddle and her team have done to improve the oral health of our patients.”

Visit their website and take a peek into the future of healthcare in America – internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/Gyn, family medicine, and…yup, you guessed it, dentistry – all wrapped into a one stop convenient community based total health center.

All they need is a gym, some Wi-Fi, and maybe a coffee kiosk (its teeth whitening job security) – then the problem would be keeping people away from the doctor’s and dentist’s office!

A Dental Exam Before Beginning Chemotherapy?

In Dental Care on October 25, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Routine dental examinations prevent against tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues detrimental to not only our oral health, but our overall physical health as well.

Basically this regular exam, teeth cleaning, oral cancer screening, and any other diagnostic procedure such as digital radiography, allow our dentists to gain a complete picture of our oral health.

In order for our trusted family dentist to accurately communicate our current oral health situation, we actually need to go to the dentist!

But that’s been said before, and it will be said again – at least as long as you’re a reader of this little dental-centric blog.

Dental exams become anything but routine when we factor in some other health-related variables. Pregnancies, diabetes, even chemotherapy all represent opportunities for the cavity creeps to grab hold of our optimal oral health and throw a wrench in the works. A Dental Exam Before Chemotherapy

In order for us to receive a total picture of our overall systemic health, it is essential we pay attention to our teeth and gums too.

Without oral health concerns, our picture is out of focus.

It’s the whole incisor, to our oral systemic health connection we’ll all learn more about, as this area of research and patient education becomes more widely known.

When Life Happens, See the Dentist

Maybe going to the dentist isn’t our first thought on receiving the positive pregnancy test news, and perhaps diabetes and dentistry don’t seem like two subjects that go hand in hand. In order for us to maintain optimal health and wellness, we need to actively promote our own optimal oral health.

If not, we’re missing a crucial part of the equation. But our trusted local social dentists are not going to let that happen.

A Dental Exam Before ChemotherapyGiven October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; we’d like to take the opportunity to promote some local dentistry as it relates to chemotherapy and breast cancer.

Chemotherapy is another cancer treatment regime, or area of health care, where dentistry factors into the equation.

According to Dr. Reitz, in his weekly dental article for the ReadingEagle.com (Reading, PA.);

Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are effective in treating fast-growing cancer cells but are also toxic to rapidly dividing cells such as bone marrow and mucus membranes.

Mucus membranes line our mouth, throat, digestive and respiratory systems.

In his article, Dr. Reitz explains how everyone experiences mouth ulcers at one time or another, which is totally normal. But more importantly, a similar ulceration occurs during chemotherapy, but to a greater degree and often more painfully.

Dr. Reitz goes on to mention how, in addition to the chemotherapy being toxic to mucus membranes, it also prevents cells in the mouth from reproducing, making it difficult for oral tissue to repair itself.

A healthy mouth contains many different bacteria, some beneficial, others detrimental.

It’s thought that chemotherapy reduces the amount and consistency of saliva, allowing more bad (pathogenic) bacteria to proliferate. Click the link to learn more about how chemotherapy affects mouth ulcer causes and treatment, read Dr. Reitz’s entire article from the ReadingEagle.com.

Then, be sure to SHARE this dental health information with your entire friend list!

Better yet, take this article and post it to your Facebook Wall – and be sure to give a ‘Like’ to Dr. Reitz while you’re at it!

 

Man Bites Dog!

In Dental Care on August 11, 2011 at 4:30 AM

With the economy in the tank and the stock market exhibiting more volatility than a Philadelphia sporting event, we bring you this financial examination of how we can actually save money by going to the dentist.

And according to this recent story from The Boston Herald, our canine friends can even benefit from regular dental cleanings and oral examinations.

For most of us, when it comes to dental insurance, the average coverage amounts provided are usually just enough to cover costs of our regular thrice yearly office visits. A typical exam, oral cancer screening, tartar or calculus scraping, followed by a visibly effective cleaning and polish, usually does the trick to keep our teeth happy and healthy until our next semi-annual dental experience.

That is IF we’ve kept up those regular visits, and IF we maintain the daily brushing and flossing regimen that some of us severely violate – at least on the flossing end.

Most of us can rest easy knowing our dental insurance pretty much covers all those normal costs associated with a typical 4 or 6 month check-up and exam rotation.

The key to saving money by properly maintaining optimal oral health comes down to two basic elements.

1.       Keep up with the regular dental appointments – whether you’re of the every 6 month group, or the heavy coffee indulging, dentally over-achieving every 4 month group.

Keep the appointments. Keep your teeth and gums healthy. Keep more hard-earned money in your pocket!

2.       Brush and floss between visits – does this one really need to be said, we’ve all been beaten over the head with this one…but some of us just remain dentally stubborn until we realize the folly of our ways.

And that folly usually costs us more in time and finances than if we simply did the right thing to begin with.

The underlying principle here that equally applies to dental health as it does to finances – at least in this blog post – is this;

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – thanks Ben Franklin

Properly maintaining the daily brushing and flossing in combination with keeping the regular dental appointments will ultimately save us more money than not going to the dentist at all.

This holds true for dogs as it does for dentally irresponsible humans!

We can be stubborn, irresponsible, and forgetful; we as humans have the ability to reason.