Why You Should See the Dentist Before Having Surgery

doctor see dentist before surgery

It’s important to be as healthy as possible before any surgery to ensure optimal results and healing. For some operations, like heart surgery or joint replacement , you will usually be required to have clearance from your dentist.

Surgeons know that the bacteria in your mouth get into the blood stream easily.  While these bacteria can impact your health in many ways, your heart and artificial joints are especially vulnerable to them.  In order to increase the odds of a successful surgery and recovery your surgeon will want your mouth to be as healthy as possible.

It’s important to be proactive and not wait to the last minute to see your dentist.  One of the most common bacterial oral infections is periodontal, or gum disease.  Your dentist may need time to treat this condition if you have it and return your teeth and gums to a healthy state so that you can proceed with surgery.

Now that you know how your oral health can impact your overall health and medical outcomes, you may want to start seeing the dentist on a regular basis to prevent other issues related to the bacteria in your mouth. And then, you will always be able to feel confident in the health of your mouth if urgent surgery is ever needed.

If you are in the Knoxville area and looking for a new dentist, we would love to meet you. Call (865) 922-1613 to schedule an appointment.

We promise to take great care of you and your smile. 

Advertisements

Can Not Seeing the Dentist Make You Sick?

unhealthy woman healthy woman

Photo credit Malvestida Magazine

It used to be that dentists just fixed teeth and made dentures so people could eat and smile, but things are different now.

Scientific research has shown that poor oral health can contribute to major conditions like diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and more.  These are all serious conditions that can shorten your life and impact the quality of the time you have left.

The biggest culprit is periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, which is an infection in your gums.  The inflammation caused by this infection, even when it is low grade, is what scientists believe to be the link to these major medical conditions.

Periodontal disease is a chronic condition that can be maintained, but not cured. We see it most often in smokers, diabetics, and people who have not seen the dentist in a year or more. But don’t be fooled, you may have it too. The CDC did a study in 2010 that showed about 65% of the adult population has it. We wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers have gone up since then.

The best way to prevent or treat gum disease and protect your health is to brush and floss daily and see your dentist and hygienist at recommended intervals. 

So, when you feel like skipping your dental appointment or if fear or money are keeping you away, think again.  It is not just about your teeth.  Not seeing the dentist could negatively impact your overall health.

If you are looking for a new dentist or are concerned about your oral health, give us a call.  (865) 922-1613

The Three Levels of Periodontal Gum Disease

If you have been reading our blog, you know that gum disease is dangerous for both your teeth and your health.  When given a diagnosis of gum disease, your dentist may have used different words that represent different stages of the disease.  In this post we will explain what those names mean.

Gingivitis – this is the earliest stage of periodontal disease.  Symptoms include red, swollen, or tender gums that are inflamed, but there may be no obvious symptoms at all. This is the best time to catch it because in most cases there is no permanent damage at this level.  Treatment may include a thorough professional cleaning, home care recommendations, and possibly repairing any dental issues that make it hard for you to reach and clean areas of your mouth.

Periodontitis – at this stage, the plaque on the teeth has hardened into calculus (tartar) and created new places for bacteria to live that you can’t easily clean.  Your gums may have started to recede and the pockets between your gums and teeth are getting deeper as the bone that supports your teeth is being lost.  These pockets will be harboring bacteria and infection that will worsen if prompt action isn’t taken.  Treatment at this level may include a series of deep professional cleanings by the hygienist, antibiotic therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

Advanced Periodontitis – when the disease reaches this level, the infection is out of control and is destroying the gums and bone that support teeth.  Teeth are likely to be lost and there will be bone loss throughout your mouth.  There will be a higher risk of the infection getting into the bloodstream and spreading to other areas of your body.  This condition can also have an impact on diabetes and heart health, possibly even more. Treatment may include a series of professional cleanings, antibiotics, and surgery.  Since teeth are likely to be lost at this point, there will also be additional work to restore your teeth or create dentures.

Periodontal disease is not something you want to ignore.  It is a serious infection that just happens to be in your mouth.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see a dentist right away.  They will be able to help you get your dental health back under control.

If you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to help. (865) 922-1613

Oral sedation dentistry is available.

Dentistry is Not Just about Teeth Anymore

 

heart health gum diseaseDentistry used to be about fixing teeth and helping people be able to eat for their lifetime.  But, things have changed.

New research shows that inflammation and chronic low-grade infections contribute to many of our major life threatening conditions.  The list includes diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more.  All things we want to avoid if we plan on being on this earth very long.

Our mouths are one of the most common places where the infection and inflammation occur.  Periodontal  gum disease is a chronic  infection that affects about 80% of the adult population. And, while we have always known it was the number one cause of tooth loss, we now know that the stakes are even higher.

So, take care of yourself by taking care of your teeth.  See your dentist and hygienist regularly at the frequency they recommend and don’t delay dental work unless you have to.  Dentistry is not just about teeth anymore.