If you want to keep healthy teeth and gums for life, you should look for a preventative dentist or one who believes in how your oral health and general health are connected.
Post by Angela Williams, dental hygienist with Greenwood Dental
I’m very interested in preventative dentistry—in keeping healthy teeth and gums for life. I’m also a great believer in a total wellness approach to dentistry emphasising the importance of dental hygiene and dental health in the well being of the total person and the importance of keeping a healthy mouth and natural teeth throughout life. The preventative approach to dentistry involves checking to make sure problems don’t occur, or taking care of them early on, before they grow into serious oral health issues.
With the knowledge we’ve got these days most people can look after their teeth and gums, and it’s a shame that so many people don’t seem to be able to do it. Yes, education is part of the solution… Flossing is equally as important as brushing, but a lot of people think that flossing is an optional extra. I think the number one thing we really have to do is motivate the patients. It’s very much a personal thing, and you have to slant your motivation to the person you’re talking to when working out their dental plan. You have to be good at psychology to work out the right track to go down.
I think it’s really interesting the links that have been found in recent studies between dental disease and systemic disease, and connections between periodontal disease and cardio disease, pneumonia, premature birth and other problems, are very interesting. I suppose academics are doing more studies all the time. We’ve always known dental disease doesn’t do you any good, but any periodontist you meet will have noticed that that people with periodontal disease (or gum disease) often have a load of chronic conditions. But you can never say whether the cart’s before the horse, as it were. More and more evidence is coming out suggesting a link.