News and Tribune


August 20, 2013

Dental health can affect overall health



Risk factors include smoking, hormonal changes, diabetes, genetics and of course, not taking proper care of your teeth.

“We recommend our patients come in every six months. That way we can stop the disease if we catch it early,” Denzinger-Rowe said.

She said brushing your teeth, flossing and using Listerine are the best ways to prevent periodontal disease. That may sound simple enough, but many ignore the preventative steps.

“Very few people floss,” Denzinger-Rowe said. “That is one of the most important things you can do. It is really important to get in the habit of doing those three things and see a dentist regularly.”

Guilford said statistics show men with periodontal disease are more likely to get kidney cancer then men without the disease.

Another issue Denzinger-Rowe and Guilford deal with is sleep apnea. Denzinger-Rowe said a large percentage of people have some form of sleep apnea and many of her patients have trouble sleeping with the C-Pack machine which is a common treatment. She said she can make an appropriate appliance for the mouth to help her patients receive proper oxygen while sleeping and keep them from grinding their teeth.

The science of dentistry has definitely evolved.

“The face of dentistry has changed,” Denzinger-Rowe said. “We do x-rays where we see sinuses or other issues that may be going on with our patients. We want our patients to be healthy and we are in a unique position to see problems.”

“We play more of an overall health care role now,” Guilford said.

With the change in dentistry, Denzinger-Rowe said treatment has also improved for the patients.

“A lot of patients have a true fear of going to the dentist. Something may have happened to them when they were younger,” she said. “We always talk to the patient ... it’s easier and better for them now. We tell them that it will be OK and in the long run be better for them.”

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