All About Daily New Hampshire News

Dental Care Options

Aug 29

Oral health is an important component of overall well-being and is essential for a person’s ability to function and perform. A variety of diseases and conditions, such as tooth decay and gum disease, cleft lips or palates, chronic jaw pain or TMJ dysfunction (called craniomandibular dysfuntion) can be prevented by regular oral healthcare.

The majority of dental diseases can be avoided through regular Dentistry services, such as dental exams and cleanings, brushing and flossing, fluoride treatments, avoiding tobacco use, and controlling risk factors, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Yet, many people don’t get the dental care they need. Barriers to care include lack of insurance or affordable options, language and cultural barriers, a lack of access to providers, and geographic or transportation limitations.

Research continues to show that good oral health is linked to a number of other health issues.1

For example, gum disease or other infections in the mouth can spread to the heart and cause a serious infection called endocarditis. This occurs when bacteria from the mouth enters the bloodstream and attaches to the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves.2

There is also a link between poor oral health and diabetes. A person with diabetes who has a gum infection is more likely to have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, which can lead to more serious problems down the road.

Research shows that a healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist can help reduce the risks of developing some diseases, including stroke, heart disease and dementia. In addition, a growing body of evidence suggests that oral bacteria and inflammation in the mouth can increase a person’s risk of certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and that reducing this inflammation can lower a person’s risk of those diseases.

Tooth decay, a leading cause of illness and death in the United States, can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly, getting regular dental exams and cleanings, and not using tobacco or excessive alcohol. Preventive services can also detect and treat problems early, when they are often easier to treat. Strategies to improve access to care for oral health problems include promoting community water fluoridation and teaching people how to take care of their teeth.