You’ve always heard that it’s important to take care of your teeth. Brush and floss every day, and see the dentist for good oral health. But did you know that your oral health could directly affect your overall health? And the road goes both ways—problems with your overall health show signs in your mouth, too.
Did you know that gum disease increases your risk of heart attack by 50%? Did you know that plaque buildup in your mouth can be an indicator of and contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries? These mouth-body connections are called the “oral-systemic link.” Dr. Thompson and Dr. Pacheco, your Portales dentists, explain the important ways your body systems work together for better or worse.
Infection in your gums can significantly increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, low birth weight babies, bacterial pneumonia and more. In fact, gum disease is directly linked to at least 52 other systemic diseases. If you get gum disease you may be at a higher risk of developing health problems in these areas because:
Gum disease is an inflammation of your gum tissue that has many other negative side effects. In order to protect your mouth from gum disease and protect your overall health, it’s important to know your risk factors and to ask your dentist about prevention.
Here’s what we know about gum disease and other diseases:
Daily brushing and flossing are incredibly important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. But if you have gum disease, it’s important to treat the infection, which means more than just brushing and flossing or scaling and root planing. Dr. Thompson and Dr. Pacheco can prescribe a special rinse to get your infection under control.
Occlusion is the resting position of your teeth and jaw when it’s closed. If your teeth cross over each other in an unhealthy way, you have malocclusion. Malocclusion (also called a bad bite) is the number one reason people are referred to the orthodontist. A bad bite can cause problems with speaking and breathing and cause chronic pain in your jaw known as TMJ.
Any or all of these issues can cause you stress and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. And as we know, sleep is very important for maintaining good overall health. If you think your oral health is getting in the way of you catching those zzz’s, talk to your Portales dentist. Chronic snoring or sleep apnea is another oral systemic link associated with numerous diseases, that your dentist can help with.
While the oral-systemic link is usually a medical term, we think that your social and emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Your confidence and personal satisfaction in life can be greatly impacted by how healthy and clean your smile is.
One study showed that a whiter smile led to more job offers, higher salaries, and even a better chance of getting asked on a second date. If you’re shy about your smile for any reason, talk to your dentist about all the ways that improving your oral health can improve the rest of your life, too.
If you have any health problems that you haven’t shared with your dentist, make an appointment at Peter L. Thompson, DDS today. Don’t wait to get your oral health and total body health on the right track.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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“What a feeling – being able to smile any time I want without shielding my two front teeth with my hand anymore! I must admit, I didn’t know much about veneers until a friend of mine mentioned them to me. He piqued my curiosity, but it was only after I spoke to Dr. Thompson and his staff that I decided to go ahead with the procedure.
I have had horrible experiences with several previous dentists and the thought of extensive work in my mouth was not appealing to me. Especially because I have a very low tolerance for pain. I can honestly say that Dr. Thompson and his staff are one-of-a-kind, and truly the best out there! Not only are the very efficient and use state of the art procedures and materials, but they are compassionate and caring. I had never thought that a healthy smile would give me such a confidence boost, but it sure did! It used to be that people always told me that my eyes smiled when I spoke to them… Now I smile with much more than my eyes!”
“I first came to Dr. Thompson’s office in January of 2010. I had been having headaches due to muscular tension in my jaw. I suffer from a relatively rare genetic disorder called Amelogenesis imperfecta. This disorder affects the enamel formation in teeth, and I basically had no enamel on my teeth as a child and adult. Due to this I had to have all my teeth removed and replaced with dentures when I was only 25.
Dentures also present some problems: because I no longer had tooth roots in my jaw, my bone slowly began to deteriorate and atrophy, both in my upper and lower jaws. Eventually, by the age of 43, I developed severe migraine headaches due to how much my jaw had changed shape over time.
This is where Dr. Thompson came in. He diagnosed the problem quickly and told me that if I didn’t get implants soon my jaws would atrophy to the point where they could no longer support dentures or implants. Before getting implants, he was able to modify my dentures so my headaches went away within a matter of a day or so. What a relief!
Now, implants are expensive, but not as expensive as I thought they would be, and it is certainly better than the alternative of not having any teeth at all, dentures or otherwise. The implants had to be installed (for lack of a better term) over the course of 3 surgeries. The surgeries were completed in the mornings and I was sent home the same day.
Recovery was roughly 3-6 months between surgeries. It was over a year from the time I first visited Dr. Thompson until I got my final implants, but the final result has been great! My new implants are much more stable than my old dentures and I can now eat things that I never could before. I don’t have to fuss with using adhesive to secure my dentures anymore, and my headaches are a thing of the past! Plus my jaws have stopped shrinking due to the implants.
Dr. Thompson and his staff were very friendly and professional during the entire process. I have been to many dentists in the past, but Dr. Thompson is easily the best.”
“When I found Doctor Thompson, you could honestly say I was at my end. All hope of ever having a normal pain-free life was entirely out of reach and there was no way anyone could possibly help me. I had been repeatedly let down by doctors, specialists, and dentists I had been to. I was convinced these people were only there to hurt you and take your money, not actually sit down with you and help you!”
My teeth were beautiful when something really bad began to happen. My teeth began breaking and wearing away. I brushed and did everything I had always been taught to protect your teeth, but nothing seemed to be helping. I saw a billboard with Dr. Thompson. I cried to my husband every time I passed it…. I only wished that I could find someone who could be what he claimed to be. I passed that billboard many times and highly doubted the possibility that he could help me. The last dentist I had gone to hurt me so bad that I was not about to trust anyone else to touch me. So I lived with it.
The day came when decided I had to trust someone. I had just gone through two pregnancies that took all the nutrients I had, therefore speeding up the deterioration of my teeth. I lived in a dark blur of pain, looked at the ground when I spoke to people, and sipped on liquid Tylenol like it was water. ALL I wanted was to be able to be the best Mommy I could be. I was able to care for them and give them everything they needed, but I couldn’t do a lot of things. It was just too painful. I wanted more for my babies! I wanted them to see their Mommy feeling wonderful and able to look her best. I wanted to show them I could interact with other people and not be afraid.
That was all a dream until I finally broke down and decided that I would never know if Dr. Thompson could help me if I didn’t ask. So, one day in 2010, I made the call. The call that would change my perspective on people and their ability to help others. That day I met Micah, and what an angel she was for me! They knew I was terrified and they did their very best to comfort me. No one can truly understand what you are going through until they have lived it, but they tried harder than anyone I had ever seen. My report was as I knew it would be, they would not be able to save my teeth. I would have to have them all removed.
At 28 years old, it’s not exactly the highlight of your life, but when you have been in so much pain and a dentist looks at you, almost with tears in his eyes and tells you that he is going to help you, it will bring life back to your view on your situation. I realized at that moment that these people were my friends and they were going to be there all the way.
One short visit and I walked away with a new mouth. At first, it was totally foreign to me to have a complete set of teeth in my mouth. It was painful, and was not easy having to relearn a lot of things all over again. With their support and confidence, they helped me believe I could do everything right again. I am writing this a year later and I could not be happier with MY smile. I have my complete set of dentures with two implants on bottom that allow the bottom denture to snap in without any troubles at all. It was a very hard road, but one that I have no regrets taking. I have my new beautiful teeth…. I can smile, talk, sing, laugh, and eat. Most importantly I feel amazing. I can be the wife that my husband deserves and the Mommy that my two little girls need me to be, energetic and fun!
There is no greater feeling in the world than knowing I will never hurt like that ever again. Everything was worth it for me. I don’t mind sharing to the world that Dr. Thompson and his team were the most dedicated and outstanding people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They took care of me, and I will forever be grateful that I called them.”