The importance of a customised plan for dental care and good oral hygiene in Moonee Ponds
Dr. Rose and the team at Smile in Style are committed to helping our patients attain and maintain healthy smiles for life. We recognise that you are a unique individual. Your health, lifestyle, and aesthetic goals are unlike anyone else’s. That is why we take time to get to know each patient, learn about their oral health concerns, and develop a customised oral hygiene and dental treatment plan.
Oral health and whole health are linked
You might have read a bit about oral-systemic health in the past few years. A growing body of scientific evidence links oral disease with elevated risk of seemingly unrelated conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
The idea that oral health impacts overall health has dominated medical headlines in recent years. As important as that concept is, it only addresses half of the issue. Medical conditions far from the mouth also impact your oral health. It is important to choose a dentist who recognises this and will provide you with a treatment plan that reflects this.
Diabetes is one of the most documented examples of the two-way oral systemic connection. Due to restricted blood flow and diminished immune systems, diabetics are susceptible to infection. Additionally, elevated blood sugar can decrease saliva flow. The combination puts diabetics at higher risk for gum disease, decay, and a host of other dental problems. When a patient’s diabetes is not controlled, the risk of dental problems is higher, and they are more difficult to treat. The reverse is also true. If a patient has severe periodontal disease that is not treated, then it can be harder to control diabetes. This is likely because of the body’s chronic inflammatory response.
The coordination of dental and medical care is important for individuals with diabetes, or any medical condition that endangers oral health. Your dentist may recommend increased frequency of hygiene appointments, preventive treatments, more diligent home care, or tips such as chewing sugarless gum to increase saliva flow.
Your lifestyle can impact on your oral health in ways you may not expect
It is accepted now that your oral hygiene habits can have a dramatic effect – either good or bad – on your dental health. However, many people underestimate the impact that lifestyle, nutrition, and health conditions may have. It is important to realise that there is no “one size fits all” for an ideal plan for a home care or dental treatment plan.
The British Dental Journal (August 2019) recently published an interesting study that highlights the impact a person’s lifestyle can have on their oral health. Researchers analysed oral hygiene habits and health records of hundreds of top athletes, comparing them to individuals with sedentary lifestyles. On average 94 percent of athletes surveyed brush twice a day and nearly half floss regularly, which are higher percentages than the general population.
Aside from a high rate of injury, you might expect Olympians and athletic professionals to have good oral health, but the opposite is true. They displayed above-average instances of decay, as well as symptoms of gum disease. This study supported the results of previous research, including a 2012 study that specifically examined participants in that year’s Summer Olympic Games. If the problem isn’t lax hygiene habits, what is responsible? Researchers concluded the problem is dietary. Specifically, well over half of athletes surveyed regularly consume sports drinks, gels, and energy bars. These carb-boosters are also high in sugar, and most often very acidic.
Study authors recommend that athletes discuss their training regimens, supplements, and nutritional habits with their dentists. Simple adjustments such as rinsing with water after sipping sports drinks, in combination with preventive dental treatments, can make a significant difference in lowering an individual’s risk.
This is considered an issue of particular importance to athletes, as nearly one-third of those surveyed report oral health problems interfering with training and performance. However, dental pain and other oral health problems can be equally disruptive to virtually any activity.
What you can do
Good brushing and flossing habits, along with regular trips to the dentist are the foundation of good oral health. When you visit us, don’t just sit quietly while we check and clean your teeth. Patient education is an important part of our services, and we need your input and feedback to make it effective. If any of the following are applicable, please discuss them with your Smile in Style hygienist and dentist:
- Do you have any known medical conditions?
- Are you taking any prescription medications?
- Do you regularly use any over-the-counter medicines or supplements?
- Are you on a special or restricted diet (i.e. weight loss, muscle building, keto, etc.)?
- Do you frequently consume acidic or sugary beverages such as soda or sports drinks?
- Do you experience dry mouth frequently?
- Do you have joint disorders or mobility problems that make brushing and flossing difficult?
- Do you have any questions about your oral health or home hygiene routine?
Here at Smile in Style, we don’t just treat teeth. We treat people; individuals with unique needs for their oral care. If you are looking for a dental team who will truly be your partner in oral health, give us a call at 03 8001 6021 (Sunbury) or 03 8400 4104 (Moonee Ponds) and schedule an appointment. You can also book online at www.smileinstyle.com.au