Mouth Affects Health

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Is there a link between oral health and the health of your whole body? Health experts believe that taking good care of your oral health does more than prevent gum disease and tooth decay. “Any disease related to the mouth has an impact elsewhere in the body,” says Denis F. Kinane BDS, PHD at the University of Pennsylvania. People with serious gum disease were 40% more likely to have a chronic condition on top of it, according to a recent study.

Bacteria build up on the teeth can lead to infection. When the immune system kicks in to attack the infection, the gums become inflamed. If the infection is left untreated, the inflammation continues, causing severe gum disease and can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Researchers are studying the link between oral health, inflammation, and the disease process.

Inflammation is the body’s response to infection. Many believe that inflammation is a stress response and a key factor in many health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia type diseases.

If we could look inside the body and see the areas of inflammation, it would make detection so much easier. Thermography (infrared imaging) provides us with this option. Infrared imaging can “visualize,” through changes in heat patterns, the areas of inflammation present within the mouth and body. Without it, we might not know that these areas exist.

With a head/neck scan, you are not only getting a dental health risk assessment, but also an evaluation of the thyroid gland, facial sinuses, and carotid arteries. By pinpointing the areas of increased inflammation at an early stage, the ensued intervention can provide a more desirable outcome.

Condensed from Memphis Thermography article for Dr. David Jensen

 

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