General dentistry focuses on preventative dental treatments that help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Keeping your mouth healthy carries over to the rest of your body because dental problems like gum disease and tooth decay can significantly impact your general health. General dentistry also includes preventative treatments that address issues like tooth decay and gum disease.
How general dentistry improves overall health
Let us take a look at a few of the ways that a dentist can help improve a patient's overall health with dental treatments.
1. Helps with sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that leads to a person’s breathing repeatedly stopping while they sleep. It is typically caused by the person’s airways being blocked by an obstruction, like their tongue or cartilage in their throat.
Sleep apnea makes it impossible to get meaningful sleep at night, and it can lead to severe physical and mental issues, like cardiovascular disease and depression. It also comes with many nasty symptoms, like chronic fatigue, irritability, and circulatory issues.
A dentist can help patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea by providing them with a custom mouthguard that helps keep their airways open while they sleep. These mouthguards are made in a dental lab from an impression of the patient’s teeth.
2. Restores the function of teeth, promoting healthy eating habits
Oral issues like missing, decayed, damaged, or sensitive teeth can make it challenging to eat a balanced diet. Damage teeth often force people to stick to easy-to-eat soft foods, ruling out many healthy foods.
A dentist can help repair damage to teeth structures and replace missing teeth with oral prosthetics like dental implants. Restoring damaged or missing teeth returns their functionality so the person can enjoy a broader range of foods. This often leads to improved nutrition.
3. Helps detect oral cancer
The American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist at least twice a year for teeth cleanings and routine checkups. Oral cancer screens are often performed during these visits, and the importance of these screens cannot be overstated. When allowed to fester, oral cancer can be a life-threatening condition, yet the odds of a favorable prognosis are high when detected in its early stages.
4. Protects against respiratory issues
Oral problems like periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease, have been linked to various respiratory issues. The bacteria that cause periodontitis can be inhaled into the lungs, causing respiratory problems, like pneumonia. Keeping teeth and gums healthy reduces the risk of respiratory problems due to oral bacteria being inhaled into the lungs.
5. Reduces the risk of a cardiovascular event
Gum disease is linked to cardiovascular issues, and it increases the risk of a person suffering a significant event. People with advanced gum disease are three times more likely to suffer a major cardiac event.
Our dentist protects your entire body
Regular dental visits help keep your teeth and gums healthy, which in turn, protects the rest of your body. Call or visit our Birmingham clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.
Request an appointment or call Inverness Smiles: John Aiken, DMD at 205-282-8261 for an appointment in our Birmingham office.
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