As you probably are aware, Studio Dental by Alexander Ash, DDS, is one of the most respected full-service dental practices in the region. We have a reputation with our patients and other dentists for the high quality of our expertise and personalized care, from our ability to provide emergency services to specialties such as periodontics (treating gum disease) to endodontics (relieving root canal pain).
Our care extends to how we have made sure our patients feel safe during the ongoing pandemic, including screening everyone who sets an appointment for symptoms, temperature checks on arrival, social distancing and sanitizers in the waiting room, protective shields and disposable garments worn those who treat you, and special sterilization of instruments.
What is less well-known is the link between taking care of your oral hygiene and the ability to prevent disease in general. When you have a periodontal infection, usually due to the challenges of cleaning your teeth and gums thoroughly, this causes an inflammation, which doesn’t cause pain right away. The gum tissues may turn red, appear swollen, be tender to touch, or bleed when you brush. Eventually, untreated, they will become painful and you might not be able to chew on the teeth in that area. The area will then need to be treated by our periodontist.
When the brain gets a signal that the gums and teeth are inflamed, it sends white blood cells to deal with the infection. There are only so many threats the body can handle at once, so you do not want it to be distracted by an unnecessary oral health emergency if the COVID-19 virus should attack. Studies have shown that patients with poor oral health who were infected by this coronavirus were much more likely to have complications, including getting pneumonia and needing a ventilator.
Those periodontal bacteria are also known to have a profound influence on your overall health, raising the risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. You want to always try to keep your immune system very healthy, which includes paying lots of attention to your oral health and seeing your dentist as recommended.
So it turns out that brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing at the end of the day are much more important than simply avoiding dental complications. If you keep having periodontal problems and are not sure about the exact technique needed to make the daily cleaning process effective, ask your dental hygienist to show you the proper way. She may recommend a dental rinse at the end of the day or the use of a water pick or small brushes to be sure all food and beverage particles are cleaned off.
And be sure to come in for a full dental exam at least twice a year, so we can be sure that periodontal infection never has a chance to get far before we treat it and make it less likely that you will be vulnerable to other diseases.