BROWNSVILLE, Texas, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — “Honey, I’m going to the eye doctor” is a common phrase heard in casual household conversations. This phrase generally conjures up nothing more than fleeting thoughts about eyesight, glasses, and perhaps a glaucoma test since the eyes are the only body parts being looked at.
Most of us are pre-programmed to compartmentalize or label certain doctors by the area of the body that they treat, assuming that each doctor compartmentalizes a bodily region and treats it in isolation from the whole. This misconception that the human body is made up of several different parts rather than a fluidly functioning system of interdependent “mini-systems” is, in many respects, the fault of the healthcare community to educate their patients.
This same misconception carries over into the field of dentistry.
Many dentists treat the teeth, gums, and jaw. This is a given. But do all dentists explain to their patients that there are far reaching health consequences beyond their dental diseases, and beyond their mouths? Wouldn’t this be an important conversation you’d want to have?
It is imperative that patients and dentists engage in a two way conversation about how the mouth can be the “canary in a coal mine” with respect to their overall health. Study after study has shown that gum disease can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes – information that is not always passed along to the patient.
What’s more, the bacteria that naturally live in everyone’s mouth can be a focal point of infection that can spread through the blood stream to other parts of the body. So patients with joint replacements, prosthetic heart valves, and other medical issues resulting in decreased immune system function are required to take antibiotics before dental treatment to help avoid secondary infections.
Not just dentistry, right?
The mouth is the gateway to the human body, and it is paramount that every adult and child engages in proper home care by brushing and flossing twice a day, going to the dentist for regular checkups, and maintaining an active partnership with their dentist and/or hygienist in their oral healthcare.
The mouth and teeth are part of a fully functioning, seamlessly linked human body. Without a healthy mouth, it is nearly impossible to have a healthy body. Ask your dentist how your oral health can affect your body, and what you can do to become a healthier you through good oral care.
Dr. Yahya Mansour received two Bachelor degrees, one in Neuroscience, the other in Biology, then went on to receive his Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology all from the University of California. He then went on to receive his DDS from University of the Pacific in San Francisco, CA. He continues to advance his knowledge in implant and cosmetic dentistry by attending Continuing Education courses on a monthly basis. In his spare time, Dr. Mansour enjoys soccer, basketball, swimming, and scuba diving.