Your Dentist Takes Care of More than Just Your Teeth

Even though we usually think ‘dentist’ and ‘teeth’ go together (and they sure do!) a dentist plays a much larger role in overall health than you might imagine. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the ways a dentist offers oral care beyond the health of teeth.

Gums

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Gum care is closely related to dental care, as gum disease adversely affects the teeth, and, according to new information, overall health, as well. Gum care is a crucial part of our health, especially those who have immune systems weakened by other factors, such as chronic illness or age. Gum infections are, as one patient noted, ‘like an infection in the open hole of your body--your mouth.’ We couldn’t agree more!

Diseases

Shingles. Oral cancer. Cysts. There are several diseases which can manifest in your mouth, and it may well be a patient’s regular dentist who is the first medical provider to notice these conditions.

Mouth sores are another issue which is commonly discovered by a dentist, such as canker sores inside the mouth and herpes blisters on the lips. Thrush is a type of yeast infection which affects the mouth, often presenting as a white coating on the patient’s tongue, mouth, and throat. Some of those who are more prone are pregnant women, babies, smokers, those who wear dentures or have weakened immune systems such as diabetics.

Problems with the tongue

Tongue ties and lip ties are easily treated in a dentist's office since they have methods of pain control that are not commonly found in a primary care physician’s office. Treating tongue ties in babies can help them, nurse more easily, and prevent dental problems down the road.

Smoking

Your greatest advocate when you decide to kick the habit may be your family dentist! Dentists are familiar with the oral issues patients face when they smoke, so they are an excellent resource and cheering team for soon-to-be-nonsmokers.

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TMJ

When a person feels pain in their jaw, sometimes it can be misconstrued as an earache or toothache. It’s the dentist who may be the first to diagnose that the pain in a patient’s jaw (or head) is caused by TMJ (temporomandibular joint).

Diet advice

The dentist is an advocate of healthy eating since what a person eats has a significant impact on overall and dental health. In addition to being a huge advocate for drinking lots of water, he or she will tell patients not to eat too much sugar, too many processed foods, or too much alcohol. Instead, pack your plate with dairy, lean meats, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. These will keep you and your mouth in top physical condition.

If you need a gentle, caring dental team, please call our office at (623) 362-2550. We’ll give you the very best dental care we can!