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25 Apr 2018

The Mouth is the Mirror of the Body

It has been said that ‘The Mouth is the Mirror of the Body’ and this can be a good way to think about the way in which the two are connected. Essentially, when you look after your mouth, you are also looking after other parts of your body too.

Your mouth is the way in which you enable food and nutrients into your system. It also has direct connections with your blood stream and nervous system. The health of your teeth and gums are equally important as your gums are the soft tissue that keep your teeth in place. Sometimes your gum health can even be an indicator of the health of the body elsewhere.

The science

Scientific studies have established that there is a link between your gums and your heart. Gum Disease (known as Periodontal disease) where the gum becomes inflamed, tender and in it’s more serious form, causes tooth loss (in some cases) can be linked to heart disease, strokes and other heart related issues. One Professor Linden of the British Heart Foundation found that those with moderate to serious cases of gum disease had a 69% higher risk of Type 2 diabetes which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease.

The good news is that by brushing and flossing regularly, you can prevent gum disease. At Pembroke Dental, we place a high value on the health of our patient’s teeth and that’s why our dental health checks and bespoke hygiene appointments are at the centre of all we do here. We think that gum health is so important that we have recently taken on a specialist Periodontist, Dr Phillip Christie. Dr Philip Christie is a Master in Periodontology and a Master in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as an Author and Wellness Coach.  He has even written a book on disease prevention and behavioural understanding which is called Something To Chew On: A Mouth Map to Health.

What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist with a special interest in gums and gum health as well as the effect of gum health on overall general health.
He/She is the dentist that takes a special interest in all these things and is a guardian of overall health as it shows in the mouth. In a nutshell, the Periodontist helps to treat and manage all sorts of gum conditions. 

Why might I see a Periodontist?

Like most things, catching gum disease early is best. Our hygiene team can help identify any problems, give your teeth and mouth a professional clean and help you tailor make a better home dental health routine. There are a variety of reasons why you might be referred to a periodontist which include:
•    Your teeth are starting to shift or feel loose
•    Your teeth feel different when you bite down on food
•    You have pain when eating

Knowledge is power and with the help of your dentist, you can arm yourself as a patient with the tools to maintain a healthy mouth.

What Can You Do?

There are three essential steps that a person can take to manage the health of mouth and body.

1)    Reduce the consumption of sugar. Sugar appears naturally in many types of foods (even fruit!) but our modern addiction to the sweet stuff is causing high rates of tooth decay and other health problems. A great way to avoid consuming too much sugar is to avoid regularly eating or drinking things containing added sugar such as fizzy drinks, sweets and cakes. Keep these as a treat! It is also important to think about how frequently your teeth and gums are coming into contact with sugar. Ie: sipping a fizzy or juice drink over time may be worse than having it with your meal.

2)    Develop a full proof dental health routine at home with the help of your dentist or hygienist including 2X daily brushing and flossing.

3)    Keep regular appointments with your dentist to make sure that everything is in tip-top health.

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