Denver, CO – If you thought brushing and flossing was simply a task to ensure you don’t get cavities or tooth decay, think again. That oral health routine might just save your life one day.
More research is being done every day on the intricate link between oral health and general well-being, and the results all point to one thing – how well you care for your pearly whites might just indicate how healthy your body is.
Your mouth is overrun with bacteria. Most of it is harmless and gets washed away through standard brushing and flossing. But if your oral care routine is a bit lax, that bacteria can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. We’ve previously discussed the link between periodontal disease and other conditions, such as heart disease and stroke.
Additionally, patients with osteoporosis are more likely to suffer from periodontal bone loss, and tooth loss before the age of 35 may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
But perhaps the strongest connection is actually between periodontitis and diabetes. Research shows that infections that begin in the mouth seem to negatively affect the way the body controls blood sugar. Severe periodontal disease has shown to greatly increase a patient’s blood sugar, thereby increasing the time a body functions with extremely high blood sugar levels. This can be dangerous for diabetic patients.
Gum disease is often listed as a symptom of diabetes, and patients who do not have their condition under control are at much higher risk to develop periodontitis. The good news, however, is that proper management of one condition can lessen the effects of the other.
Periodontal disease affects an estimated 743 million people, making it one of the most common chronic diseases you may face. In the United States, it affects one in two adults.
The Denver periodontal experts at Altura Periodontics are dedicated to being on the cutting edge of oral healthcare to ensure the total body wellness of each of their patients. Each of the five doctors works closely with their patients to monitor their conditions, and work in conjunction with physicians to ensure proper care.
But it doesn’t stop there. The Altura team are the first oral healthcare providers in Colorado to offer DNA and infectious disease testing through a mouth rinse known as MOP and MOP ID. The tests can help the doctors identify disease risks such as oral cancer, pharyngeal cancer and Human Papillomavirus.
April is National Oral Cancer Month, and now the test to determine if you’re at risk for it is as easy as using mouth wash. The test lasts about 30 seconds, and makes it simple for your doctor to determine if you may be at risk, before visual detection is even possible.
In the case of diseases such as oral cancer, early detection is crucial to properly treating the disease. In the United States each year, more than 43,000 American are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer, and nearly 8,000 die each year from it. Of the diagnosed individuals, only 57 percent will survive more than 5 years following their diagnosis.
The death rate associated with this cancer has historically been high because detection is difficult, and it’s often not caught until it is in its later stages. For many patients, it is only caught when it has already metastasized to another location.
Oral cancer is particularly dangerous in its early stages because it often goes unnoticed by the patient because there is no pain or symptoms that the patient would associate with such a serious diagnosis. But it is also dangerous because it has a high risk of producing secondary tumors, which means that patients who survive an initial diagnosis have up to a 20 times higher chance of a second cancer diagnosis.
This is what makes the test offered at Altura Periodontics so important for patients. It’s quick and simple for the patient. MOP is the only comprehensive oral cancer screening test available today that tests for three potential early signs of oral cancer. These include cell abnormalities, HPV and DNA damage.
And all it takes from you is 30 seconds of swishing a minty flavored mouth wash. Annual testing for all adults over the age of 18 is recommended.
To learn more about how your oral health may be impacting your overall wellness, schedule a consultation with Altura Periodontics today.
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