Complete Health Dentistry is a dentist’s way of looking at your oral health as it relates to your overall health and focusing on what is most important for you, for your long-term wellbeing.
Complete Health Dentistry has evolved over recent years, as growing research has identified connections between what occurs in the mouth and what diseases occur in the rest of the body.
This is called the Oral – Systemic Connection (or, the Mouth-Body Connection).
Conditions and diseases in the mouth can affect the overall health of the body, and, general medical conditions can also have a direct affect on the health of the mouth.
Oral Health As It Relates To Your General Health
From oral infections, the build up of dental plaque, tooth decay, tooth loss or gum disease, bacteria in your mouth can find its way into your blood stream and create inflammatory issues throughout your body.
Current research has shown a link between certain mouth bacteria and serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, some cancers, fertility issues and poor pregnancy outcomes.
Other oral conditions such as oro-pharyngeal cancer, sleep apnea, TMJ issues, headaches and migraines can significantly impact overall health too.
Your dental health will also support your physical and psychological health by:
enabling good nutrition - allowing the mastication of a variety of foods with a functional dentition, and,
healthy self-esteem for good speech and smile confidence.
These connections between the mouth and the body highlight the value of good oral health and dental stability for assuring better general health.
General Health As It Relates To Your Oral Health
Certain medical conditions can have a direct affect on the mouth. Sometimes it’s the illness itself that affects mouth health, while sometimes, it’s a treatment.
Diabetes, cancer, hyperthyroidism, Sjogren’s syndrome, anemia, HIV, Kidney disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, can increase a person’s likelihood of issues such as mouth ulceration, mouth dryness, tooth wear, severe dental decay and/or gum disease.
Medications such as those for the treatment of allergies, high blood pressure, cancer and depression can also have side effects that negatively affect the mouth. But stopping such medications may not be feasible or warranted.
At Melbourne Dentistry, we can support your oral health with advanced dental care to help reduce the impact of drug side effects - so the long term health of your teeth and mouth is not severely compromised.
Our Approach for the Mouth - Body Connection
At our practice, we approach your treatment needs by first finding out what is going on in your general health, dental health, life style and habits, including information you tell us about your family’s health history and dental problems. We can then have an idea of what things occurring in your mouth are truly significant for you.
We recognise that by making good oral care a priority, you may be able to reduce many risk factors for developing other general health problems, or improve your management of certain existing medical conditions.
By having the opportunity to take extra care to prevent problems, long-term consistency in both your general and oral health can be more likely.