Oral health and hygiene are often associated with being tedious at best and painful in the extreme. Flossing, brushing, rinsing and check-ups can be less than exciting, true, but these measures are necessary because those who avoid the tedious tasks are more likely to suffer the painful results. Dental care should not be put off for numerous reasons, the least of which are an attractive smile and inoffensive breath. More importantly, staying on top of oral health helps to prevent infections and keep the rest of the body healthy. A good family dentist in Greenville, SC helps to do just that.
The Importance of Saliva
Saliva in the mouth makes a strong fight against disease-causing bacteria and insidious infections. Antibodies in saliva counter air-borne viruses and its proteins suppress the growth of fungi like Candida Albicans. In addition, enzymes found in saliva effectively erode bacterial membranes. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched an animal lick its wounds. In fact, some scientists believe that the compounds found in saliva can be harnessed, re-produced and sold to diabetics and others whose cuts and abrasions are slow to heal. In short, good oral health begins with saliva.
The Threat from Plaque
As hard as it works, unfortunately, saliva is not an oral cure-all. A snapshot from inside the mouth will show nearly 500 different varieties of bacteria taking residence. As they bond with one another, the bacteria form an invisible but clinging film called plaque. As any dentist in Greenville SC can tell you, plaque is not just a threat to teeth. It actually places the whole body into peril. Without consistent brushing and flossing, plaque situates itself along the gum line and in between the teeth. It is here that progressive infections will develop: gingivitis, periodontitis and trench mouth. As they progress, the gums recede, the teeth are loosened and pain from inflammation increases.
It Gets Worse
Your family dentist in Greenville SC is there to mitigate these painful conditions. Left untreated, infections do not remain confined to the mouth. Depending on the state of the immune system, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc on other parts of the anatomy. If an illness or injury has compromised your immunity, that bacteria can attach to weakened organs elsewhere in the body. An example of this phenomenon is endocarditis, when bacteria adheres to damaged heart valves, a life-threatening condition. Greenville SC dentists help patients from reaching such a dangerous and disturbing predicament before antibiotics or even surgery are required.
Take Action Now
Beyond cardiovascular disease, gum infections can complicate diabetes management, induce pre-term labor in pregnant women and cause a host of other health problems. Self-care—brushing, flossing and the use of oral antiseptics—is a necessary component in preventing such problems. Just as essential are regular check-ups and cleanings with a family dentist in Greenville SC. With the expertise and tools that are central to fighting oral infection, Greenville SC dentists team with their patients to preserve their oral, and overall, health. If you have put it off, don’t wait any longer. Contact a dentist in Greenville SC today