Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved days of the year. Family and friends gather to share a sumptuous meal and quality time. If you’re like most of us, you may even go around the table, asking everyone to share something for which they are thankful. Many times, the answer is “I’m thankful for the good health of those dearest to me.”
Sometimes in the rush of daily life, we forget how central good dental health is to our overall health. Sure, good oral hygiene helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. But increasingly, researchers are finding that an unhealthy mouth may increase your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes, even preterm labor.
Think of your mouth is a window into what’s going on in the rest of your body. Systemic conditions such as AIDS or diabetes often first become apparent as mouth lesions. Your saliva is an important diagnostic tool. For example, certain cancer markers are detectable in saliva.
More than 500 species of bacteria thrive in your mouth at any given time. These bacteria constantly form dental plaque. If you don’t brush and floss daily, and visit us for regularly scheduled dental cleanings, plaque can build up along your gumline, resulting in a form of gum infection called gingivitis. Left unchecked, gingivitis can evolve into a more serious gum infection called periodontitis. Long term gum disease eventually results in the loss of teeth. But the consequences may not end there. Good oral hygiene is absolutely crucial to keeping your healthy.
At this time of year, all of us at South Miami Family Dental are thankful for our wonderful patients. We think of ourselves as partners in ensuring your family remains healthy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and a very merry holiday season ahead.