Want to make sure that you live a long health life.? Start by taking care of your teeth and gums. Check out this post to learn how taking care of your mouth can cause you to live longer..

Taking Care of Your Mouth Can Cause You to Live Longer

I am concerned about you. Yes, you.

I have seen too many moms and dads walking around looking good and driving nice cars, but our health is terrible.

I recently heard a story that broke my heart. It was an interview with a general dentist, Dr. Hazel Glasper on the Thriving Dentist Show.

She spoke about her experience with two individuals, one being her brother, that ended up losing their life unnecessarily.

The first story was a man that came to her practice. We will call him John. John had an examination by Dr. Glasper and she let him know that he had gum disease that was pretty severe. John didn’t do the necessary treatment to help prevent further destruction of this disease. Later he suffered a heart attack that killed him at the age of 55.

I was so heartbroken because he didn’t have to die young. Let me explain to you why.

Neglecting you mouth can have serious implications on your health, especially if you have gum disease. Check out this post to learn how taking care of your mouth can cause you to live longer.

About Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common diseases, but also a silent disease like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Gum disease is an inflammatory process caused by bacteria that destroys the jawbone that supports the teeth. It starts off as gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums and progress into gum disease.

Some of the effects of gum disease are:

  • bad breath

  • red, puffy gums

  • bleeding gums

  • loose teeth

Ultimately, if left untreated you can lose your teeth if gum disease it left untreated. I know you don’t want to walk around with no teeth. Teeth are always in style.

Oral-systemic link

The problem with gum disease is the link that it has to other diseases. You think “Oh, it’s only in my mouth, it’s no big deal.”

Physicians and dentist have been coming together because there is a link between gum disease and other diseases like:

  • heart disease

  • respiratory disease

  • diabetes

  • low birth weight

  • and for the fellas … impotence

If I told you that you could prevent having a heart attack and dying prematurely would you want to know how?

What to do about it

First, you’ve got to make an appointment and see your dentist. I know, I know. You have been putting it off because you’ve been so busy. You can’t continue to put it off anymore. Remember, you won’t be able to go to that job or spend time with your kids if you are sick.

Depending on what stage of gum disease you have your dentist can treat you in the office without referring you to a specialist.

Deep Cleaning

Typically, the most common treatment is scaling and root planning or a deep cleaning.

A deep cleaning is more than just a “regular cleaning.” Your regular cleaning is not going to treat your gum disease and is actually a disservice to you because you will leave with the same infection in your gums.

A deep cleaning goes underneath the gums to remove the plaque, tartar build-up, and bacteria that aggravate your gums and bones. It also smoothes the surfaces of your teeth so that it is hard for the bacteria to stick to your teeth.

Now, just because you had a deep cleaning doesn’t mean that you are cured and never have to see the dentist again.

Just like diabetes, it has to be controlled. The way that it is controlled and kept stable is by having a periodontal maintenance cleaning every 3-4 months.  In addition, maintain good home care by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.

A note on dental insurance

Let me address something about dental insurance … Just because insurance doesn’t pay for it does not mean you don’t need it.

Dental insurances are in it to make money at the end of the day. Dental insurance should be thought of as a supplement, not the way to pay for any treatment you may need.

I say this because many times insurance will only cover 2 out of 4 periodontal maintenance. Or only cover a percentage of the cost. Please do not let this deter you from getting the treatment that you need.

Periodontist

Now if gum disease has progressed to a moderate or severe stage, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. I like to call periodontist my gum and jawbone specialist, but trust me they are way more than that.

The periodontist will want to do an evaluation first and will present treatment options that may or may not require surgery.

 

Conclusion

Too many times I have seen people come to the office with gum disease and leave it untreated. I look at them and see a ticking time bomb and they are not trying to do anything to stop it from going off.

The worst case I ever saw was a 34-year-old man who a severe gum disease and was going to end losing all of his teeth and have to replace them with dentures. He told me that he didn’t have dental insurance and was not able to get treatment, but I could tell he didn’t take care of himself because there were the tale signs of not brushing for a week. This man came to me in severe pain and swelling because of a tooth abscess.

I was able to take the bad tooth out and immediately referred him to a periodontist. He was back in my office a month later in pain again. This time he said that he saw the periodontist and they told him that he has to have all of his teeth removed because they were so far gone.

My patient was in denial and refuse to have all of his teeth taken out. I look at him and I think about John. If he doesn’t do something, he is going to have a heart attack by the time he is 40.

I don’t want this to happen to you or your husband.

You can either pay now or pay later. But don’t wait until it is too late. Put your health first so that you can have long, happy, healthy days.

With lots of love,
Dr Toni

Comments

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  5. AmberLynn

    I would never have considered a correlation of diseases from the mouth. It makes sense, but it would never have occurred to me before reading this. I take pride in my oral hygiene, though I should floss more than I do, now I will definitely tighten up even more.

    1. Yes, there are some strong correlations between diseases in the mouth and systemic diseases. I am glad to hear that you are keeping up with your oral hygiene. Flossing will definitely make things better for you in the long run. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Herlina Kwee | Making LOL

    Great article. Sometimes we neglect dental care when we need to take care of other basic needs first, especially in developing countries. I am speaking from experience. I am from Asia. When I was growing up, routine dental cleaning was not part of the regimen when you had 6 kids to feed. We went to the dentist ONLY when we had a serious problem. Sometimes, my mom would even pull our loose teeth herself. I am glad I survive that with me still having good oral health. But, you are right. Good oral health can prevent loads of health problems.

    On a different note, I went to a start-up weekend last week where one of the presenters is working on a start-up to connect dentists and NGOs to bring dental care to the people in Tasmania (I think I remember the country right) who are having serious issues with their teeth and other oral issues like you describe above. If it’s something you’re interested to be involved in, contact me and I can connect you with the presenter.

    1. Herlina, thank you for sharing! I totally understand that. I am hoping and praying that one day I will be able to do some trips to help people outside of the US.

      I will definitely be in contact with you. đŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Laura aka The "SpunkyDiva"

    You are so right! I am long overdue for a visit, but I’ve developed such bad anxiety with the dentist. Thank you for gently “nudging” me! đŸ™‚

    1. No problem! Remember, the longer you put it off the bigger the problems get and the more expensive it gets to fix/treat things. It won’t be as bad as you think once you get there. đŸ™‚

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