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The wider benefits of regular dental check up appointments

With the New Year a distant memory and resolutions for a healthy year possibly fallen by the wayside, this blog is reminder of the importance of regular dental check ups and considers the wider potential health benefits beyond just teeth.

Whilst a dental check up is primarily focused on the mouth and teeth, there are a number of other health issues which can be identified in a dental examination.

Here, I consider three common health problems that are often linked to the health of your teeth and gums:

Diabetes

The risk of periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is increased in those suffering with diabetes.  Recurrences of periodontal disease can be an indicator that a patient is suffering with diabetes, which renders the sufferer more prone infections.

It is important that diabetes is managed carefully from a dental point of view and it is vital that patients suffering with diabetes make sure they do everything recommended to them to help fend off gum disease.  The inflammation inherent in periodontal disease impairs the body’s ability to utilise insulin, which is very significant in a patient with diabetes.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis refers to the thinning or weakening of bone material, causing it to be more fragile and more prone to breakage.

Signs of the disease include the weakening of teeth and, as such, a competent dentist would be alert to the potential for osteoporosis where tooth weakening occurs at an increased rate.

Heart disease

There is a strong correlation between patients suffering heart disease and those with gum disease. With periodontal disease, the gum inflammation can lead to arteries becoming clogged and this creates a significantly higher risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack.  It is now widely recognised that dental care is extremely important in lowering the risk of these cardiac issues.

The importance of regular dental check ups cannot be overstated.  Not only can dental issues be identified early, and therefore have greater prospects of successful treatment, but the health of your teeth and gums can be indicative of wider problems.

Generally, patients are encouraged to have yearly follow up appointments as a minimum, but your dentist may have recommended more frequent reviews if there are concerns with your dental condition. It is very important that your dentist’s recommendations are followed and that you seek medical advice if you have any concerns between appointments.

If you are concerned about dental treatment that you have received and wish to speak to a specialist dental lawyer then please contact a member of the Dental Negligence Team.

 

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