Diseases that Affect Your Oral Health

Oral Health Fort CollinsMany patients are surprised to learn just how connected your oral health is to your total body health. Certain health conditions have a direct effect on the health of your mouth. Sometimes it’s the illness that affects mouth health, and sometimes it’s a treatment. Drs. Murri and Willey can help you keep your oral health strong in the face of other challenges you may be dealing with.  Keeping us apprised of any health conditions you have can help us to help you better. Certain health conditions will require extra oral health care steps to prevent problems.



A Dentist Sees More than Just Your Teeth

Did you know that your dentist sees much more than just your teeth when he is looking in your mouth? Dentists are trained to detect other symptoms and signs that can give clues to your general health.  Some health-related conditions that show up in the mouth include:

  • diabetes
  • oral cancer
  • temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
  • thyroid problems
  • iron deficiency/anemia
  • leukemia
  • eating disorders (bulimia and anorexia)

Drs. Murri and Willey want you to feel comfortable disclosing your current and past medical history with us so we can give you the best treatment possible. Honest communication with your dentist is vital. During your visit, talk to your dentist about your ongoing health concerns so that we can help you. Sometimes treatment needs to be adjusted if you have certain medical conditions, are currently undergoing medical treatment (radiation or chemotherapy) or are using any prescription drugs.

Importance of the Comprehensive Exam

The American Dental Association recommends that patients receive a comprehensive exam every three years beginning at the age of two.  A comprehensive exam is much more extensive than just cleaning your teeth. The American Dental Association defines a comprehensive oral exam as an “extensive evaluation and the recording of all extraoral, intraoral and soft tissues”. By evaluating your teeth, gums, jaw and surrounding areas thoroughly, we reduce your risk for undiagnosed and untreated conditions that can damage your overall health.

Poor oral health has been linked to gum and bone disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, oral cancer, systemic disorders, deteriorating cardiovascular health and sinus problems. Comprehensive exams at Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies are the best preventative and diagnostic measure for your dental and overall health. We also provide you with oral cancer screenings to help you catch it early if there are signs of it being present in your mouth. Oral cancer causes more than 7,500 deaths each year. Noticed and treated early, these diseases can be controlled, reduced or eliminated.

What to Do If You Have a Disease Affecting Your Oral Health

One of the biggest things you can do to combat the damaging effects of a disease that impacts your oral health is to enlist the help of your dentist from the very beginning. Prevention is key to stopping most oral health problems in their tracks. Patients that are at increased risk for decay, tissue weakness, mouth sores, bone loss, dry mouth, infections, and bleeding need thorough, frequent care. The following three preventative actions should become part of your regular dental treatment plan if you have a disease affecting your oral health:

Deep Cleanings

Deep cleanings (also known as scaling and root planing) are often regarded with dread and anxiety. However, it is usually the best periodontal treatment for halting and reversing gum disease in its early stages. Though many patients would like to dismiss gum health as a low priority, periodontal disease can negatively affect not just the looks and health of your smile, but the rest of your body as well. Your gums protect the roots of your teeth and prevent dangerous bacteria from reaching your bloodstream, which is why maintaining its condition is a necessary part of preserving your overall health. Deep cleanings are an essential part of keeping your mouth strong when it is weakened through other health conditions.

Daily Personal Oral Hygiene Attention

Take good care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing regularly. You also may need to see a member of our staff more often for checkups and cleanings. We can help keep your teeth and gums stay healthy, and detect problems such as tooth decay when they get started.  Taking the time to learn and incorporate proper oral hygiene habits and practices can make all the difference in the health of your mouth as you deal with challenging health conditions.

Periodontal Treatment and Gum Disease Prevention

The condition of your gums is an integral part of optimum health.  Gums anchor your teeth to the jaw, and protect its roots from the dangers of plaque and bacteria. When the gums deteriorate and start to recede, it can negatively affect your teeth and your overall health. Gum tissue is often weakened and more susceptible to injury when you are using certain medications or when you are facing a health condition that requires aggressive treatment or use of your body’s resources. Periodontal treatment may be needed to return your gums to optimal health.

Call for a Consultation

Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies understands that dealing with abnormal physical health conditions is stressful and exhausting.  We want to help ease the burdens your body is carrying by helping you keep your mouth healthy and not adding any new physical trials to the pile you are already facing.  Enlist our help early so we can put preventive strategies in motion to keep your mouth healthy and ease some of your anxiety. Please call our Fort Collins office today if you are suffering from a disease that affects your oral health at (970) 223-6101.  Together, we are stronger. For your convenience, you can also reach us online by submitting a contact or appointment request using the form below.