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Posts Tagged ‘oral systemic connection’

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!

Can Cutting the Fat Help Us Fight Gum Disease?

In Gum Disease, Oral Systemic on November 17, 2011 at 4:30 AM

In our never-ending quest to singularly promote socially-centric neighborhood dentistry, combined with our shared battle in shrinking our collective expanding waistlines, we hope to bring some attention to this latest round of dental health information purged on the public.

You may only think dentists can be interested in this type of stuff, and you’re right.

Who really cares how quickly science advances, what enzymes help us understand this or that, how the quality of health care improves, or how we can save money?
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Even if we do care about all those things, who has the time to have an actual conversation about it – or even just forward a link, right?

With the next viral puppy video burning a hole in our inbox, and a flurry of text messages to return, it’s no wonder optimal oral health really takes a backseat in our everyday lives.

If weight loss can be considered a popular topic of conversation these days, we can now add gum disease to the list of benefits involved with a reduction in body mass and associated waistline circumference.

Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers found the human body is better at fighting gum disease when fat cells, which trigger inflammation, disappear.

Now this doesn’t mean if we go out and dive into the next fad diet, that we no longer need to see the dentist as often.

This is only preliminary research and a mountain more needs to be done but at the very least it is another sign of the oral systemic connection.

A new paradigm between dentistry and medicine is now developing regarding patient care. As the oral systemic connection is more clearly understood, dentists who are trained in diagnosing oral and periodontal disease will play a greater role in the overall health of their patients.

Many times, the first signs of unnatural systemic health conditions reveal themselves in changes within the oral cavity.
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The health of our teeth and gums directly correlates to our overall physical health, and vice-versa.

At least that’s how we read all that dental clinicalspeak.

What this means to us, as dental patients is this; the better our dentists understand the connection between oral health and physical health, the better they can communicate this information to the rest of us – but we do have to go see them on the regular…and make sure we befriend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and bookmark their blog posts!

A down economy should never be a reason to forgo optimal oral health; it will actually cost us more money to delay even just regular dental cleanings and exams.

This neglect leads to the development of oral health, tooth, and gum problems which then require more attention (read: time and money) from our trusted dentists, when the spit finally does hit the sink.

We don’t need to wait for the government to debate our health care, or break the bank on regular dental care.

There other easy to pay dentistry options, and alternatives to dental insurance.

And don’t be afraid to get your primary care physician involved in the conversation.


 
Tell us you wouldn’t Like that doctor’s Facebook page AND share the link?
  

How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

In Dental Care, Gum Disease on November 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Keeping our regularly scheduled dental appointments should no longer be an issue of convenience. If maintaining optimal oral health isn’t a primary concern, when words like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke get thrown around; taking care of our teeth might just ratchet up a few notches on our personal priority list. How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

But what if taking proper care of our teeth and gums, and keeping our regularly scheduled dental appointments can also help prevent other health problems now, and later on in life?

Then we’d have no problem keeping those dental appointments and taking that extra 2 minutes to run some floss through the chompers.

New research from the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011 held this past weekend in Orlando, Florida, suggests people who visit the dentist regularly to have their teeth cleaned may lower their risk for heart attack or stroke.(1)

This isn’t just Tuesday morning fluff news to give us something to read while we waste time puttering through Facebook or teetering through Twitter.

This research suggests that getting our teeth professionally cleaned and scraped or “scaled,” just once a year, may help reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke.

If this isn’t social dental-centric circle share-worthy info, we don’t know what is! How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

(Click one of the social links at the bottom of this article and share this story with a loved one)

We should actually make a habit of going to see our favorite dentists once every six months; more often for smokers, diabetics, people with gum disease already (2)…and rabid coffee hounds.

Now this doesn’t mean we all get our teeth cleaned at least once per year, and ipso facto…no heart disease or stroke.

Dentists would be even more popular if that were true!

In this ABCNews article, Dr. Daniel Meyer, the American Dental Association’s (ADA) senior vice president of science and professional affairs, agreed that it is too early to make that assumption, but stressed,

“Regular dental visits are important to diagnose and treat dental disease. Some conditions in the mouth may indicate disease elsewhere in the body, so by maintaining a schedule of regular dental visits, the dentist can certainly refer patients to physicians or other health care providers for evaluation for a potential systemic disease.”(3)

How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart DiseaseHow gum disease may be linked to heart disease is still unclear, but continuing research can only help us learn more.

Oral Systemic Dentistry

Although some holes can be poked in the findings of the Taiwan-based research, particularly the type of patients examined and other supporting risk factors such as smoking, exercise habits, and genetics; holes can be poked in any research – and that’s what science is all about.

The indisputable facts remain, going to the dentist is good for us…beyond our teeth and gums!

Our oral health has a direct impact on our overall health.

It has been reported that 3 out of every 4 Americans have signs of mild periodontal disease or gingivitis, and almost 30% show signs of the more severe disease, chronic periodontitis.(4)

We now have a building knowledgebase of research that shows us, the health of our teeth and gums may have a significant effect on the overall health of our body.

This recent scientific literature (and more) suggests a strong relationship between oral disease and other systemic diseases and medical conditions.

Oral systemic dentistry is a growing area of study that is only gaining more popularity with dental health professionals.

The ability to share patient health information between primary care physicians and dentists, is allowing that beneficial communication to make a difference in diagnosis, patient care, and treatments available.

According to http://www.oralsystemicconnection.com/, the most significant areas identified to-date to have a suspected oral systemic connection are:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Fetal Development
  • Diabetes
  • Orthopedic Implant Failure
  • Kidney Disease

In all of the above mentioned medical conditions, oral bacteria and periodontal disease are suspected contributing factors.

How significant remains to be seen as we continue to learn more.

We need to educate ourselves, ask questions at the doctor or dentist office, and SHARE THE INFO!

If we can share a stupid (albeit hysterical) FWD email, political rant, or video link of this week’s cute puppy, we should certainly be willing to share cutting-edge beneficial health care information.

DO IT!

DO IT!

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