Thursday, December 19, 2013
Your Dentist – A Critical Member of Your Health Care Team.
It is often said, “Your mouth is the window into the health of your body.” So why wouldn’t you consider your dentist a critical member of your health care team?
“Dentists are many times the healthcare providers that spot such things as nutritional deficiencies, infections and even systemic diseases. These challenges will show up in mouth as lesions or other oral health problems,” says Dr. Judith Ko from her Hemet,California General and Cosmetic Dental Practice. “Yes, we check for signs of oral cancer, but we don’t stop there. Most dentists routinely will take your blood pressure. We know some patients are much more likely to visit their dentist on a regular basis than see their physician. It’s one more way we show how much we care,” says Dr. Ko.
And many serious diseasesshow up in the mouth first. For example: diabetes. Periodontal disease that cannot be controlled is often an indicator of a more serious issue – so is bad breath that can’t be treated by brushing, flossing and/or mouthwash. Jaw pain may be the first sign of a heart attack and dental x-rays sometimes show early signs of not only bone loss, but also osteoporosis.
“Just more reasons to visit your dentist on a regular basis,” says Dr. Ko.