New Year’s Resolution: Schedule a Dental Check-Up

Dental Check-Up

New Year’s Resolution: Schedule a Dental Check-Up

When it comes time to set your new year resolutions, put a dental check-up on the list!  One of the simplest and most effective resolutions you can make is to schedule a dental check-up.  Good oral hygiene is obviously something that will make a difference in your life, but you might not be aware of just how much of a positive effect it can have on your whole health.

How Your Gums and Teeth Affect Your Overall Health

Certain warning signs reside in your mouth and a routine dental check-up may reveal unknown problems with your heart, blood sugar, and inflammation. Regular dental check-ups are not only good for your dental health, but for your overall health too. (WebMD shares a story about a patient who went for a dental check-up and now credits her dentist with saving her life).

A Dental Check-Up is a Snapshot of Your General Health

Dr. Terrance Wolbaum, of Pioneer Hills Dental, performs a comprehensive examination during a routine check-up. Part of the check-up, includes an oral cancer screening where Dr. Wolbaum checks for any lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and oral cavity. When examining your mouth, he will also look for any sores or discolored tissue, and of course he checks the condition of your teeth and gums. If you are a new patient, he performs a benchmark check-up as a starting point. For returning patients, he looks for any changes from previous examinations that may indicate a problem in your overall health.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) you should have a professional cleaning and check-up every six months. Scheduled times are set at specific intervals because tooth decay develops in a predictable pattern. Once plaque transforms into tartar, it can only be removed by dental professionals. Depending on the condition of your teeth and gums, you may need to schedule appointments more than twice a year, that’s why it’s important to have a routine check-up with Dr. Wolbaum to see what he recommends for YOUR teeth.

Oral and Physical Health Connections to be Concerned About

Inflammation and Infection in Your Body

Poor oral health has been linked to the advancement of infection in other parts of the body. Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. According to experts, the mechanism of the destruction of connective tissues in both gum disease and RA is similar. Eating a balanced diet, regular dental check-ups, and good oral hygiene helps reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease that can advance other diseases or conditions.

A Healthy Mouth May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Chronic inflammation from gum disease has also been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems. Recent studies at the Boston School of Dental Medicine indicate that periodontal disease is now recognized by the cardiology community to be a direct risk factor for coronary arterial disease, peripheral arterial disease and stroke. The common link to these and other diseases is inflammation from periodontal disease. The findings in these studies suggest that maintaining good oral health can help protect overall health.

Diabetes

People with diabetes who don’t control their blood sugar levels well, often have gum disease. Having diabetes can suppress your immune system and make you susceptible to infections, including gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease. That may create a vicious cycle as a lowered immune system makes it makes it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Reducing your risk of gingivitis by protecting your oral health may help with blood sugar control.

How Can I Protect My Oral Health?

Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene are the best way to protect your oral health. Without proper brushing and flossing, plaque will begin to build up along the gum line in your mouth, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. An infection in the gums, known as gingivitis, can lead to periodontitis, a more serious gum infection and potentially cause more serious health risks.

There are easy steps that can be made to protect and preserve the health of your mouth and ultimately your overall health. Good oral hygiene is essential, including:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily – preferably at night
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit sugar and in between-meal snacks
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months (or sooner if bristles are frayed)
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings
  • Avoid tobacco use
  • Contact Dr. Wolbaum as soon as an oral health problem arises

The state of your oral health can be very indicative of what’s going on with your physical health. Do your body a favor by staying on top of your oral hygiene through regular check-ups with Dr. Wolbaum.

Schedule Your Dental Check-Up to Start the New Year Right!

Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health in 2019 and beyond! Schedule your dental check-up today!  Pioneer Hills Dental is located at 5492 South Parker Road in Aurora, Colorado, with easy access from Parker, Castle Rock, Centennial and Highlands Ranch.  For more information about our dental office or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (303) 766-8811. We also have appointments available in the early mornings and some extended hours as well to accommodate your busy schedule.