Taking care of your oral health can be the key to maintaining the well-being of your general health. Family dentistry plays an important role in improving your overall quality of life by taking care of all your dental issues under one roof. Finding the right family dentist to work with is just as essential in maintaining your oral health and taking care of the dental concerns of each member of your family.
How Does Oral Health Affect Your General Health?
It is not an uncommon practice to hold off seeking dental care until absolutely needed. We usually prefer to see a dentist only when we’re hit with unbearable pain or find it difficult to chew or eat food. However, such an approach to oral health is discouraged and should be replaced with a more conscientious attitude.
Research has proven that oral health problems are linked to a number of medical health conditions, which warrants the need for us to pay attention to our dental issues. Infections in the mouth can fester and lead to severe gum disease, which in turn, has been linked to heart conditions. This occurs due to bacteria that colonize the mouth and can also travel to other parts of the body.
How Can a Family Dentist Help Take Care of Your Oral Health?
Much like a family physician, a family dentist takes care of each member in your family; whether it’s you, your little kid or an elderly parent. Family dentists are expert dental practitioners that are trained to provide quality dental care to patients of all ages. There are a number of benefits of having a family dentist, such as –
- Convenience: Instead of taking each family member to a different specialist, you can simply schedule appointments for everyone on the same day when you have a family dentistry office taking care of you.
- Familiarity: Family dentists have the biggest impact on children. Once a child has familiarised themselves with their family dentist and become comfortable with them, they may continue to see the same dentist even as they grow into adults.
- Reliability: Having a family dentist also provides the assurance that you and your family will receive the same quality of dental care at every visit. A family dentist is aware of their patients’ dental histories and is in a better position to know their requirements in times of dental emergencies.
What Does a Family Dentist Do?
The role of a family dentist is varied, with most dental procedures falling under their level of expertise. Family dentists offer the following services to patients of all ages:
- Full-mouth dental examination
- Dental X-rays
- Deep cleaning and polishing
- Dental sealants and fluoride treatments
- Examination and screening for oral cancer
- Fabrication of night-guards and mouth-guards
- Guidance towards oral care at home
- Dental fillings
- Root canal treatments
- Dental crowns, fixed dental bridges, partial & complete dentures
- Inlay and Onlay restorations
- Tooth extractions
- Gum disease treatment
- Teeth whitening
- Dental implants
- Porcelain crowns and veneers
- Composite fillings
Visit us at River Rock Dental to know more about how having us as your family dentistry office can assist you in maintaining the well-being of you and your family’s oral health.
Gum disease affects a large percentage of the adult population in America. Starting out as a mild form known as gingivitis, gum disease can worsen over time if left untreated. While gingivitis is characterized by swollen, tender gums that may bleed, the more severe form known as periodontitis can even result in tooth loss.
Poor oral hygiene is one of the main contributors to the development of gum disease. However, there are more than a few other factors that can lead to periodontal diseases, such as –
Family History and Genetics:
Research has shown that some individuals may be more predisposed to developing gum disease than others. Such traits can carry on to your subsequent generations and leave you at risk of gum diseases.
The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and puberty. The hormonal changes occurring during this period can have an effect on the gums as well and put the person at an increased risk for gum disease.
The chances of developing gum disease can increase drastically with increasing age. A vast majority of Americans that suffer from gum disease are over the age of 70. This is usually due to the ability to maintain good oral hygiene by older people, the medication that reduces salivary flow and other medical conditions that may affect oral health.
A diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar can lead to chronic inflammation in the body, which predisposes a person to gum disease.
Chronic smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease. Smokers often fail to notice the symptoms of gum disease though, since the nicotine can constrict the blood vessels and mask the symptoms of inflamed and bleeding gums.
Diseases like diabetes, heart disease, etc. increase the chances of gum disease in individuals. In fact, people with gum disease are also at an increased risk of worsening diabetes.
Out of these, the American Dental Association classifies genetics and family history as a significant risk factor for developing gum diseases. People who have family members with a chronic history of gum diseases need to remain more vigilant about their oral health conditions. It should also be kept in mind that while the make of your genetics may not be in your control, your oral habits are. This is especially important for individuals with children, who tend to follow the example of their parents when it comes to caring for their teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding bad oral habits like smoking, etc. are good examples to set for the younger members of your family.
Other Oral Conditions that are Affected by Family History
One gene, in particular, has been linked to a greater risk of tooth cavities in adult teeth. Individuals who have a history of developing frequent tooth decay may benefit from prescription toothpaste and regular visits to the dentist. It is also advised to get dental sealants and fluoride treatments for your children if the risk of dental decay runs in your family.
Malocclusion, or misaligned teeth that may need braces, are also affected by heredity. The size of the jaw is largely determined by genetics, which in turn, can affect dental issues like crowding, gaps in teeth, or bite problems.
Cancers of all types have a genetic association. While risk factors like tobacco or alcohol play a major role in oral cancer, certain people with specific genetic markers may be at a higher risk of developing the disease.