1st October 2013
Your mouth health is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. The early identification of oral disease may contribute to the early diagnosis and treatment for a number of more serious diseases.
A healthy mouth means more than healthy teeth and gums but your throat, the tongue, the lips, the salivary glands, the chewing muscles and the jaw. A thorough oral examination can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies as well as a number of systemic diseases, including infections, immune disorders, injuries and some cancers.
More and more studies indicate that the health of the teeth and gums can affect the health of the whole body, and inflamed gums (periodontitis) can especially negatively affect the health of the whole body. The chronic inflammation weakens the immune system, and is an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, lung diseases, Alzheimer’s disease HIV, and complications during pregnancy. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage gum diseases but may also help your return to health quicker.
Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene or improper brushing technique itself is a bacterial plaque that eventually attacks the gums. The onset of infection often remains undetected because it causes no pain. The trouble usually begins with bleeding gums, swelling of the gums and bad breath. In extreme cases, it will form gum pockets, bone shrinkage and loss of the tooth.
New diagnostic tests using saliva—are available to detect drug abuse, hormonal changes, and specific diseases; and more are being developed.
Saliva, like blood, can be used to detect and measure many compounds in the body. Saliva collection has the advantage of being non-invasive. Saliva can be used to detect antibodies against viruses such as HIV and hepatitis, as well as antibodies against bacteria like Helicobacter pylori, which causes stomach ulcers. It could potentially replace blood testing for diagnosis and monitoring of diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and many infectious diseases.
A healthy mouth allow us to speak and smile; sigh and kiss; smell, taste, touch, chew and swallow; and convey our feelings and emotions through facial expressions. Protect it and visit your dentist regularly.