At Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry, we care about more than just your teeth. We fully understand how the mouth can affect the body through what is known as the oral-systemic connection. The oral-systemic connection is the studied link between oral health and the body. Drs. Ryan Lepore and Erin Dougherty, and their team in Dunedin, Florida, work routinely with patients to help them understand this connection and how it impacts their oral health. Below are just a few more commonly asked questions about oral health and body connection.
What is the Oral-Systemic Connection?
Studies show that the smile’s health can indicate one’s overall health or indicate the likelihood of other risks throughout the body. For example, periodontal disease is an infection that starts in the soft tissues of the mouth and can spread, leaving behind receding gums, lost jawbone, and even lost teeth. The bacteria from this infection can spread throughout the body through the blood system, leaving periodontal disease patients at a higher risk of:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart attacks/heart disease
- Preterm labor in pregnant women
How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
Taking great care of the smile can help patients prevent periodontal disease in the first place! While patients should brush, floss, and see their dentist regularly for cleanings and examinations, sometimes additional diagnostics is needed in order to achieve true prevention and wellness. At Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry, we are well versed in the additional testing and/or treatments needed to achieve this very goal: to maintain oral health and wellness — while improving overall health!
How Can I Control My Condition?
Currently, there is no cure for periodontitis, but it can be prevented with proper care of the smile. Drs. Ryan Lepore and Erin Dougherty may sometimes recommend antibiotics to fight the infection, if severe enough, and certain procedures such as scaling and root planing to deeply clean the teeth and gums. To supplement, oral probiotics and custom-fitted perio trays from PerioProtect help to continue the fight, resulting in a winning effort. Once the condition is managed, patients can work with their dentist to keep the condition from progressing into the later stages of periodontitis again.
How Do I Learn More About the Connection Between Oral Health and the Body?
Dunedin, Florida area patients can educate themselves further on the benefits of keeping the smile clean and healthy, knowing it can affect the rest of their body and overall medical health. Call Dr. Ryan Lepore or Dr. Erin Dougherty of Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry at (727) 608-4690 to request a consultation visit with our team at 822 Milwaukee Avenue.
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