YOUR MOUTH: TALES IT COULD TELL ABOUT YOUR HEALTH

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We all are familiar with the song we learned in childhood about how all the parts of the body are connected. The familiar lyrics and melodies of the skeleton dance song, “the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone and the thigh bone is connected to the hip bone”, make us realize early on that our bodies are one complicated and interconnected system. Today, we understand that the relations of the body’s parts and systems are intimately connected, and, operating as a spectacular symphony so complex that even the most educated scientists and doctors are in awe of their wonder.

Our oral health and overall health are also intimately related and connected. For many years, research has shown that periodontal disease can adversely affect and further complicate many systemic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, and has even been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes. We also know that uncontrolled systemic diseases can negatively affect the oral environment.

Millions of Americans show signs of periodontal disease, which is a chronic bacterial infection in the tissues surrounding the teeth that leads to gum inflammation and eventual bone loss. As periodontal disease progresses, bacterial enzymes break down gum tissue, and, as a result, the bacteria enters the body’s circulatory system. This oral bacteria can worsen pre-existing medical conditions and disease processes.

The relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes is a great concern for patients, as medical doctors and dentists alike understand the interplay that each has with the other. In general, diabetes can lower your resistance to infection and slow the body’s healing process. Diabetes, when not controlled, has a negative effect on gum health. Patients with inadequate blood sugar control seem to develop periodontal disease more often and more severely than those who have good control of their diabetes. In addition, periodontal disease has been shown to exacerbate a patients diabetic symptoms by creating a situation in which blood glucose levels are more difficult to maintain. This can be a vicious cycle, which in turn effects every other organ that is at risk in diabetics such as the heart, eyes, skin, lungs, nerves, kidneys and so on.

In addition to affecting diabetes, oral bacteria can play a role in cardiovascular disease by causing inflammation throughout the body and in arteries. This inflammation can contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, thus increasing the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.

Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can increase gum tissue inflammation.   Left uncontrolled, this pregnancy induced gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, putting mothers at greater risk of having pre-term births and low birth weight babies. The theory is that toxins released by oral bacteria can reach the placenta and interfere with the development and growth of the fetus.

All evidence points to the fact that keeping our mouths as clean and as free of harmful bacteria as possible can reap huge benefits that extend far beyond our mouths. We know now that a little prevention goes a long way….not just in preventing cavities and gum issues, but by potentially avoiding much more serious health conditions in the future.

Be proactive! Always brush, floss, and make sure you are diligent about your routine dental check-ups and cleanings.

Dr. Joseph D’Angelo, DDS and Dr. Ashly Olson, DDS

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SMILE! Just reading the word feels great!

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As we celebrate this holiday season we are reminded of the important and wonderful people that have touched our lives, not only in the past year, but, those people that have shaped our lives, our families and our community over time. The season is a time for gift giving and sharing time with those we love.
The new year brings closure to this wonderful time of year, and also invites an exciting new beginning. Many of us take this time to make personal commitments, which usually involve eating healthier, losing weight, exercising more regularly, or another self-improvement ideal.

A refreshing New Year’s proposal would be the focus on sharing more joy, laughter, happiness, and of course, more smiles in the coming year.

While those traditional self-improvement goals, when carried out, are of tremendous value and certainly make us feel better, consider the impact of a smile. Did you know that the simple act of sharing a smile with someone, whether a friend or stranger, has a remarkable and positive effect on yourself as well as the people you are with? In addition to the emotional & psychological benefits, research shows smiling is associated with reduced stress hormone levels (like cortisol, dopamine, and adrenaline), increased health and mood enhancing hormone levels (like endorphins), and lowered blood pressure. We recommend making a commitment to sharing more smiles to the people you love, and, to complete strangers as a gift to them and a gift to yourself.

If you are one of many people who refrain from smiling , or are self-conscious when smiling due to concerns about the attractiveness of your teeth, remember this… you are depriving yourself, and the people you care most about, of the wonderful benefits associated with smiling.
Make a commitment right now to fix the problem. It may only take a professional dental cleaning and whitening, or, it may be as simple as adult tooth alignment with Invisalign. These days replacing missing teeth is simple and reliable with dental implants. Complete smile makeovers with porcelain veneers can also be a life changer. Whatever it is, make a promise to yourself to take action, start smiling more and become healthier, sexier and more successful in the process.

Dr. D’Angelo and Dr. Olson have helped numerous patients attain a smile that they are proud of. Every day they are on a mission to help their patients improve their lives, eat more comfortably, and smile more confidently! Together with their friendly, professional and passionate team, they have made a commitment to improve the lives of every patient they have the privilege of serving with the finest dentistry attainable.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the D’Angelo Olson team!

Dr. Joseph D’Angelo & Dr. Ashley Olson