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dentistry

Why does our oral health affect our overall health?

Why does our oral health affect our overall health?

Most of us have heard the phrase “the eyes are the window to the soul.”  By analogy, when it comes to the relationship between our oral cavity and the rest of our body, the oral cavity can be thought of as the “window” as well.

Though this example is abstract, it is important for all of us to see, in concrete terms, that our oral health is an integral part of our systemic health.  This notion is certainly intuitive and logical, however, prevailing notions up until fairly recently have worked to psychologically separate our dental and systemic health.  We think of dental decay and gingival disease as health concerns confined merely to our teeth and the gums which surround them.  However, did you know that oral health affects sleeping, breathing, respiration, heart health and even diabetes status? 

This fact may be surprising—but research conducted over the past several decades definitively points to a link between oral and overall health.  To illustrate just one example, let’s talk about diabetes.  

Diabetes is a condition in which our bodies are unable to use blood sugar properly.  As a result, blood sugar builds to such high levels that our bodies release inflammatory chemicals.  This affects our gum health because, as we discussed in a recent post, inflammation is what eventually causes breakdown of the bone supporting our teeth.

Importantly, the link between diabetes and our oral health is a two-way street.  Just as inflammation from diabetes adversely affects periodontal health, inflammation from the gums affects diabetes status.  This is because poor gum health causes inflammatory chemicals to increase throughout our entire blood stream.  These chemicals further damage the ability of cells to properly take up sugar from the blood, thus making diabetes worse. 

Our mouths are involved in many functions—speaking, breathing, chewing and digesting food, and of course, smiling!  Therefore, it’s only natural to expect that our oral cavities are integral to the health of many organ systems.  So the next time your dentist says “open wide!”, be assured that he or she is checking up on far more than just whether or not you have cavities.  For more information on all topics oral health, be sure to visit us at www.watergatedental.com.  Thank you for reading!

 

New Technology at Watergate Dental

New Technology at Watergate Dental

The doctors and staff at Watergate Dental are so pleased to offer YOU, our patients, CEREC technology.  In this post, we will explain why this makes delivery of your oral healthcare faster, more accurate, and much more convenient. 

If you have ever had a dental crown or bridge placed, you understand that there are several visits to the dentist involved.  During the first visit, your dentist prepares the tooth to receive a crown.  Then, a gooey mold of your tooth is taken, sent to the lab, and the crown is returned several weeks later for you to receive.  In the meantime, you are given a short-term crown to wear.  Due to the temporary nature of the crown, these will often come out during the interim period, necessitating yet another visit to your dentist for re-cementing.

Furthermore, occasionally a lab will send back a crown that, for one reason or another, does not fit satisfactorily.  This means yet another visit several weeks later to try-in another crown from the lab.  As you can imagine, all these extra visits can add up quickly and take you away from other responsibilities such as work and family. 

What if we told you that there was technology available that would allow your dentist to prepare your tooth, scan it, and create the final crown all in ONE visit?  Well, welcome to the world of CEREC technology!  CEREC is a system that allows your dentist to virtually scan your prepared tooth and send that scan to a machine within the office.  That machine then creates a final crown with stunning precision.  Yes—this means no more gooey molds, no more temporary crowns, fewer visits to the dentist, and less overall time in the dental chair! 

The best thing about CEREC, aside from increased convenience for our patients, is the stunning accuracy and predictability of the scanning and crown-making technologies.  This means less time adjusting, re-shaping, and re-fitting crowns in the dental chair.  It also means longer lasting restorations with less complications and fewer problems down the line.  Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out www.watergatedental.com for more information on all things oral health!

 

Watergate Dental Associates