While traditional dentists tend to treat isolated conditions, complete health dentists aim to treat patients in their entirety. They take a more comprehensive view of the patient, their pre-existing conditions, individual needs, unique risk factors, and more. As such, an annual visit to a complete health dentist is not just an "annual checkup." Rather, it is an annual wellness visit in which they take the patient’s total condition into account.
A patient’s mouth is a reflection of their overall health. Ideally, it should be free of bleeding gums, cavities, swelling, or any other irregularities. At the beginning of an annual wellness visit, a complete health dentist will show the patient a graph of the healthy mouth baseline. The hygienist will then delve deeper into their concerns before checking their vitals, conducting an oral cancer screening, and asking about sleep and lifestyle habits in preparation for the doctor.
Traditional dentists tend to treat their patients as passive recipients of care. Complete health dentists, on the other hand, work collaboratively. This process involves some patient education from the doctor and more active participation from the patient.
Patients of complete health dentistry take an active role from the first consultation when they must identify any discrepancies between the healthy mouth baseline and their dental health. The complete health hygienist and doctor will use these concerns as a jumpoff point to fully assess the mouth and formulate a customized treatment plan for the patient’s unique needs.
Seeing a complete health dentist at least once per year is a great step one can do to maintain their overall health. Fortunately, however, there are several things that can be done to work towards a healthy mouth baseline at home. The most obvious tip is to practice good oral hygiene: Brushing teeth at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing nightly will help remove dental plaque, as will drinking fluoridated water.
Quitting tobacco products and cutting down on alcohol can dramatically improve one’s oral health. Those with diabetes should also take extra care to maintain their condition, as oral health and diabetes have been proven to be bidirectionally linked (that is, they both directly affect the other). Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables and maintaining an overall healthy diet is also important.
Heart disease and diabetes are two of the most common systemic conditions linked to oral health. However, several other conditions may be associated with periodontitis. These include but are not limited to pregnancy, pneumonia, and osteoporosis.
Yes. These common risk factors depend on the specific conditions we are examining you for. However, some of the most common involve smoking and poor diet.
Many of the risk factors for periodontal disease are lifestyle choices such as tobacco use or poor nutrition, for example. Others, however, are not as easy to control. These involve age, genetics, and stress. Some, such as medication schedule and teeth grinding, may be helped by a doctor.
In most cases, periodontitis starts with an excess buildup of plaque. This plaque may then harden under the gumline, turning into tartar. Eventually, this may develop into a milder form of gum disease called gingivitis. It is ongoing gum inflammation that eventually leads to periodontitis.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothbrush. Floss every night and eat a balanced diet. Drink fluoridated water and avoid tobacco use.