Health Centered Dentistry
Your mouth (oral cavity) is the intersection of medicine and dentistry and the window into the general health of all people. Research continues to confirm the importance of oral care and its impact on systemic health problems. It has been estimated that more than 100 systemic diseases have manifestations in the mouth. It appears that up to 50% of heart attacks are triggered by oral bacteria. Six oral spirochetes (a type of bacteria) appear to be causal of Alzheimer’s disease. Periodontal (gum) disease is as big a risk as high blood pressure for strokes. In today’s tumultuous and uncertain outlook of providing health care, our country has moved from a VALUE–BASED model to a VOLUME-BASED model. Providers spend less time with their patients and as a result, care and outcomes have become compromised. In light of this Dr. Richards and his highly trained staff invest TIME with their patients. Through continuous training and the use of modern technology to not only manage and eliminate oral disease, but they also educate the patients in our practice how THEY can play an important role by improving and maintaining their overall health.
Gum Disease, Diabetes and Heart Disease
Research has shown that diabetes has a direct relationship to gum disease, and treating one condition positively impacts the other. As with many other disease processes, these chronic conditions take a long time to develop and become clinically significant. Diabetes, in particular, reduces the body’s resistance to infection. Bacteria causing gum disease then run rampant creating inflammation, infection and the destruction of bone and soft tissue supporting the teeth. Other health problems associated with diabetes are dry mouth, ulcers, infections, and cavities. As a result, early detection becomes paramount in treating these conditions. Inflammation in the oral cavity is a critical sign such as impending diseases. It leads to infection which, when untreated, spreads to other important parts of the body. Accurate early diagnosis during a comprehensive examination allows our team for formulating a plan of treatment to control and possibly eliminate these problems. Following treatment, scheduled PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE is the cornerstone of managing any disease. Let us know how we can be a part of your overall oral health maintenance.
Many of us know that a balanced nutritious diet is essential to healthy living. Our eating patterns and food choices play an important role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. The mouth, teeth, and gums are more than just tools. They are essential for chewing and swallowing, a major part in our digestion process. What you put in your mouth not only impacts your general health but also your teeth and gums. If we don’t monitor what we eat and have an unbalanced diet, the first signs of poor nutrition show up in our oral health. When determining your nutrition and calorie intake, you need to factor in your age, gender, and physical activity and health factors. A balanced and healthy diet should include: Fruit and Vegetables. Combined together these should cover over half your plate at meals. Grains. A large portion of your grains should be whole grains. Oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat bread. Dairy. Reach for a low-fat or fat-free snacks such as cheese or yogurt. Protein. Make lean protein choices, by selecting lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Protein doesn’t only have to come in the form of meats, try different legumes or beans and eggs. Eating a variety of different food choices will allow you to stay on track with your nutritious meal options. Eat at least eight ounces of seafood a week. Snacking We all enjoy a snack and we sometimes need a snack between meals during the day. We do encourage you to limit your eating and drinking between meals, especially if you select options as bagged chips and sweets. Certain foods promote rapid tooth decay and increased amounts of saliva throughout the day, which causes more bacteria to remain in your mouth, putting you at risk for cavities. The slow intake of beverages throughout the day keeps your teeth in constant irritation of acids. The acid will slowly start to wear away at your enamel. Snacking on healthier options, such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, and nuts will help you stay on track for a balanced diet. Foods that May Benefit Dental Health Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens, and almonds are high in calcium, which is beneficial to your tooth health. Protein-rich foods, such as poultry, fish, milk, eggs, and meat are high in phosphorus. Why are these two minerals important to your teeth? These two minerals play an important role in protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel. Fruits and Vegetables are beneficial to your dental health because they are high in water and fiber, which help to clean your teeth. Many fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C, which helps in building healthy gums and is quick at healing wounds. Don’t forget about, WATER; hands down it is the most tooth-friendly beverage, especially when it contains fluoride.