Small changes can make a big impact on your health

Committing to a healthy lifestyle and taking care of our bodies is important during all stages of our lives. Any medical diagnosis—even for a treatable issue like periodontitis—can be disheartening, but it’s also an opportunity. Each new diagnosis gives you the knowledge you need to take control and live a healthier, happier life. So while it might be hard now, discovering an issue like periodontitis is better for you in the long run. Periodontitis can cause or contribute to a wide range of health issues because it allows oral bacteria into your bloodstream, causing chronic, systemic inflammation.

As a result, treating periodontitis and changing a few small, daily habits to prioritize your oral health can make it easier to control existing health issues, like high blood pressure and diabetes. It can help you feel better rested, more energetic, and more focused than you have in months or even years. Even a few small changes to your daily habits can make a surprising difference in your health!

Here are a few easy ways you can commit to your health to feel younger.

Visit a dentist to have your oral health evaluated.

Scheduling an appointment with Dr. Tyler every six months is an important part of protecting your long-term oral and overall health. During your regular appointment, Dr. Tyler will give you a professional dental cleaning, removing plaque and hardened tartar from your teeth. He will also examine your mouth for signs of cavities or gum disease and will perform an oral cancer screening. As a result, this regular appointment plays a role in preventing oral health issues and helps you catch them early when they do occur — before they can become a severe health issue.

Since periodontitis lets oral bacteria into your bloodstream, it has the potential to impact many different parts of your body; it weakens your immune system and increases your chances of suffering from high blood pressure, respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and stroke. Regular appointments give you the best chance of preventing periodontitis, chronic inflammation, and its many negative effects in the first place. Periodontitis is often completely painless until it’s severe, so you may not notice it at home. If you haven’t visited Dr. Tyler in a while, schedule an appointment right away to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy.

Start flossing at least once a day.

No matter how well you brush your teeth, the bristles of your toothbrush simply can’t break up all of the plaque along your gumline. This is why flossing every day as part of your oral hygiene routine is the best way to prevent periodontitis. If arthritis or other joint problems makes flossing painful or difficult, try using a water flosser instead of trying to suffer through it or skipping such a vital part of your oral hygiene. Your gums may bleed when you first start flossing regularly, but they should stop if you stick to the daily routine for a week or two. If they don’t or if the bleeding is severe, this is a sign you may have periodontitis, and you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Tyler right away.

Consider dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth.

If you’ve lost one or more teeth to periodontitis, consider getting dental implants to replace them. Even if you currently have a dental prosthetic like partial dentures, dental implants carry enough benefits for your oral and overall health that it’s worth considering switching to them. Since dental implants are embedded directly into the bone of your jaw, they stimulate bone growth the same way natural tooth roots do. As a result, they kick-start bone regeneration — and stronger bones are always important, especially as you age.

Dental implants are also simple and easy to care for, so they reduce your likelihood of suffering from gum disease. Additionally, ill-fitting partial dentures can rub against your gums and cause sores. This is painful, but there’s some evidence that these sores may be more likely to develop into oral cancer. Switching to dental implants may help prevent you from getting the disease.

Address your teeth grinding or TMJ pain.

If you grind your teeth or suffer from TMD, temporomandibular joint disorder, the pain and inflammation in your jaw can make it difficult to eat, speak, or get a good night’s sleep. While it might sound strange, it can actually spread to other parts of your body. This often causes a host of symptoms that may not seem related to your jaw pain, such as dizziness, hearing loss, and pain in your neck, shoulders, and back. Finding and treating the root of your TMJ pain or getting a night guard to prevent yourself from grinding your teeth at night can improve your jaw pain and your other linked symptoms. Without the constant pain, you’ll feel better and more well rested on a daily basis. You may even be able to reverse the hearing loss caused by inflammation!

Explore your options to ensure you can afford care.

We understand what living on a tight budget is like, so we don’t ever want you to have to go without vital dental treatments because you can’t afford them. When you’re looking into getting dental care, make sure to explore the options each dentist offers to ensure you can afford your care. At Duvall Dental Center, we’ve created several in-house dental health plans that aim to ensure you can afford the care you need — whether or not you have traditional dental insurance.

We even have a periodontal membership plan that’s aimed at helping you maintain your gum health if you’ve struggled with periodontitis in the past. The plan provides complete coverage for two regular dental appointments, two periodontal therapies, two oral cancer screenings, and more each year. In addition to several other benefits, you receive a 20% discount on all our other services. If you’re still concerned about affording your treatment, we’re always willing to estimate the cost of your treatment, how much your insurance or membership plan will cover, and what financing options we can offer you.

Take charge of your oral and overall health.

While there’s no way to turn back the clock on your life and become young again, focusing on your health can offer you the next best thing. Living a healthier life and reducing the inflammation in your body can help you have more energy than you have had in years. Along the way, you may even discover a new, youthful outlook on life!