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Oral Reflexology: How Your Mouth Reflects your Overall Health

March 2, 2015

Reflexology has become a common practice in natural health. The concept of focusing on one part of the body to heal another is not new, and there is concrete evidence on how important oral health is and how it affects the rest of the body.

It’s obvious that if the dentition and oral cavity have some serious issues, it can be very hard to process and digest food properly. Missing teeth can lead to an overall bite that is not correct. This leads to the stomach and intestines being over-worked in the process of digesting food.

80% of Americans have Periodontal Disease

Studies show that more than 80% of Americans have some sort of periodontal (gum) disease. This disease is caused by an inflammation response to the biofilm of bacteria in the mouth that slowly but surely destroys the tissue and bone around the teeth. Biofilm forms when bacteria adhere to surfaces in a moist environment. Biofilm can be made up of a single bacterial species, but usually it is a cocktail mix of many species of bacteria, fungi and debris.

Biofilm is responsible for other diseases, such as Otitis media, bacterial endocarditis and cystic fibrosis. This bacteria is not only destructive to the mouth. The biofilm of the mouth can enter the blood stream, thus affecting the heart by attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries. The inflammation caused by periodontal disease increases plaque buildup which may contribute to swelling of the arteries. This same biofilm can be found in clogged arteries in the heart and is a key contributor to heart disease..

With this knowledge, it is crucial for people to realize that dental care is very important. Without continual and proper dental care, the rest of your body can suffer. The best line of defense is a complete and thorough dental hygiene routine and professional dental care.

Three Steps to Disease Prevention

An electric tooth brush is a powerful tool in the fight to control biofilm in the oral cavity. The Oral-B power brush has an oscillating, rotating and pulsating head with more than 48,000 movements per minute. The effectiveness simply cannot be matched by a regular manual toothbrush. The Oral-B power brush helps to remove the biofilm of plaque and bacteria that can cause periodontal disease. The bristles are soft and gentle along the gum line and help reduce sensitivity in this area. Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health mouth rinse are recommended over-the-counter mouth rinses that contain no alcohol and are effective in reducing plaque.

Tooth and Gum Tonic is an all-natural mouth rinse that contains herbs, essential oils, and bacterial antimicrobials to heal the oral cavity. The rinse is effective in reducing oral bacteria and healing bleeding gums. The oils have a soothing effect that conditions and rebuilds the gum tissue. Tooth and gum tonic is excellent at curing bad breath for hours. This rinse is only available through dental offices so contact a knowledgeable dentist near you.

Most importantly, it is beneficial to invest in regular visits to the dentist. A dental professional can guide you to a personal dental care regimen that will benefit you. The dental appointment will consist of an oral cancer screening, blood pressure check, and dentition exam. A professional cleaning will remove bacteria and biofilm that may be present even after regular brushing and care at home. The biofilm that forms in pockets around teeth needs to be removed by a dental hygienist or dentist. If left unchecked the bacterial level can get out of control and extensive surgery and/ or medication will be needed to treat the disease.

Your Dental Restorations Can Hurt You

Dental restorations can be affecting your health. Many silver restorations, either amalgam fillings and/or metal under crowns, can be rough, and contain substances that can cause an allergic reaction in your mouth. Silver restorations that have marginal leakage and metal corrosion can lead to broken teeth and exposure to heavy metals. The dental profession is moving away from using amalgam or metal fillings because there are better options for esthetics and health. Many dentists are removing old and worn silver fillings and replacing them with tooth colored fillings. We find that as people become more educated about their dental health, they want to replace amalgam/silver fillings with much stronger and healthier restoration options.

Dental health is very relevant to overall health. From oral cancer to periodontal disease to tooth decay, the public is becoming very aware of how all these things play a factor in general health. Visit your dentist and dental hygienist today and make sure your home oral care is current and healthy. Your body will thank you for it!

Contemporary General Dentistry is a family and cosmetic dental practice located at 836 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Bryan Wilson and team members believe in dental excellence in a caring, mercury- and latex-free environment. Kareen Wilson RDH BS has been in practice as a dental Hygienist for more than 18 years. Please feel free to contact us at 860-236-8000 or visit us on the web at www.bryanwilsondds.com.

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