Brighter, healthier smiles mean better patient health & wellness

Brighter, healthier smiles mean better patient health & wellness

In addition to the pain, discomfort, and tooth loss usually associated with poor oral health, studies completed in recent years have linked the onset and progression of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and even dementia to poor oral health.

Even when good oral hygiene practices such as daily brushing and flossing are consistently employed, most people will develop cavities or gum disease. This requires some form of dental intervention at some point in their lives.

Most commonly, where disease progresses due to genetics or poor oral hygiene, gingivitis and periodontal disease tend to manifest.

  • Gingivitis manifests itself as soreness, swelling, and infection of the gums. It can lead to a recession or reduction in the amount of gum tissue present.
  • As it progresses, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which can cause bone loss in the jaw, chronic pain, and eventually tooth loss.

Throughout their lives, most people will develop some form of periodontal disease. However, when identified early, the implementation of a consistent oral hygiene regimen to improve oral health can slow the progression of disease to a point where its effects are relatively unnoticeable. 

The more advanced periodontal disease becomes, the more extensive the treatment needed to correct it becomes. Early identification and consistent application of means to combat poor oral health are key to prevention.

Good oral hygiene practices include:

  • Daily removal of plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and gums
  • This can be accomplished through regimented brushing of the teeth and gums, as well as the employment of interdental cleaning agents such as dental floss 
  • The Mayo Clinic recommends brushing at least twice a day to help maintain good oral health
  • Scheduling regular dental checkups to identify and correct potential issues before they become problematic
  • Eliminating the use of tobacco products
  • Increasing the consumption of foods which are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C to improve and maintain gum health

Is poor oral health reversible?

Because gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease, a consistent oral hygiene regimen including daily at home care and regular visits to the Dentist’s office can often reverse its effects. Due to its advanced nature, there is currently no opportunity to reverse the effects of periodontal disease.

However, various treatments exist which can aid in eliminating the pain and other negative effects of periodontitis. Such treatments include professionally performed scaling and cleaning of the teeth, medications such as prescription mouthwashes and oral gels, and oral surgery.

Science Care donors improve overall patient health

Though chronic pain and discomfort are the symptoms most often experienced by those suffering from oral disease, advanced oral disease can lead to conditions which can be life-threatening.

In addition to playing an active role in the development of new oral medications aimed at combatting diseases such as gingivitis, members of our donor community are integral to various advancements in the treatment of oral health conditions, which not only improves smiles, but can have a profound positive impact on a patient’s overall health and well-being.

Science Care donors assist in research and development of various new medications and implantable devices intended to improve a patient’s oral health. They also afford dental professionals and oral surgeons the opportunity to increase their knowledge and receive necessary training for:

  • Dental cleaning and scaling
  • Repairing cavities and broken teeth
  • Extracting teeth and root canals
  • Performing dental implant surgery
  • Gum grafting to replace receded gumlines
  • Periodontal bone grafting
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) correction

Because oral health is essential to overall health, it is recommended that a patient visit the dentist at least once a year, even where no known oral disease exists, or a patient may no longer have their natural disease.

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