Dental hygienists often uncover life-threatening problems
(NC)—We once believed that the worst outcome of poor dental hygiene was tooth loss, but research clearly links oral health to overall health, so far more is at stake. The earliest signs of a number of serious health issues are reflected in the teeth, gums and tongue, often long before a diagnosis is made. The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the mouth is a gateway to the rest of the body.
There are millions of bacteria in the mouth and ignoring oral health routines can lead to inflammation causing these bacteria to grow and spread at alarming rates and to find their way into the bloodstream. Unchecked plaque on your teeth can result in gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth decay. Research suggests that periodontal disease is a risk factor contributing to serious life-threatening illnesses such as lung and heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Dental hygienists have the skills, knowledge and judgment to facilitate early detection of these issues. At a dental visit your hygienist will assess your health history, examine your head and neck and check your mouth. Together you will develop an oral hygiene care plan that includes prevention and treatment therapies to ensure the best overall health possible. If necessary, your dental hygienist may refer you to other healthcare professionals. You can't afford to wait. Periodontal disease can be prevented and controlled, thereby decreasing your chances of other serious illnesses.
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