It is a well-known fact that the state of the mouth can reflect what is going on with the rest of the body and how healthy it is. A dental examination very possibly could show that there are problems elsewhere. Regular visits to the dentist are necessary as a way of viewing oral health impact on general health.
Signs of disease, infections, and poor dietary control can be seen from the condition of the teeth and gums. By examining a mouth dentists can recognize signs of drug and alcohol abuse, smoking and indications of physical abuse. Most dentists will have a practice of issues a questionnaire to patients to fill out, this will ask for the patients medical history and also of any treatment they are receiving from their doctor.
The mouth contains lots of bacteria, including the bacteria related to problems like gum disease and tooth decay. It also contains the bacteria that can show signs of health problems elsewhere in the body, signs of systemic diseases such as diabetes and heart conditions can be picked up from oral examination.
With a regular mouth hygiene regime, daily brushing and flossing of the teeth, the bacteria can be kept to a minimum, but if you neglect hygiene you are risking allowing the bacteria to get out of control. This could lead to serious gum disease and perhaps even opening the way for the bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
One of the most important times to take care of hygiene in the mouth is during pregnancy. One of the main reasons for this being the fact that many hormonal changes are taking place throughout the whole body including the mouth. During early pregnancy, it is common for the gums to bleed and become tender and swollen. Serious gum disease, if left untreated, can also affect the unborn baby.
When we get older, it is necessary to take care of hygiene of the mouth, so that good levels of nutrition can be maintained as poor dental hygiene later in life can lead to difficulties and pain while eating. Poor dental hygiene can have an effect on some diseases like diabetes, where infections in the mouth can make controlling these disease much more difficult to control.
It is necessary to tell your dentist about any health conditions and give details of any medication you are taking as this will help them to administer treatment safely. If you have a medical problem with your heart, your dentist will need to be aware of this as any treatment which may cause bleeding will possibly need a course of antibiotics to be administered about an hour before the treatment is due to begin. The antibiotics are given to prevent the risk of infection occurring and affecting the heart valves. Asthmatic patients may be unsuitable for general anesthetic treatment and the dentist should be aware if their patient suffers from asthma, this should be highlighted in the patient questionnaire.
Children should be encouraged to clean their teeth from a very early age. Introducing a toothbrush as soon as a child is able to hold it may be a good starting point with young children. When children are young, is also the best time to try and establish healthy eating habits, which will help to maintain good strong healthy teeth.