How Effective Is Your Hygiene Checkup

By Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN
(Certified Clinical Nutritionist)

Dental cleanings are one of those procedures we know we need but don’t get too excited by them. We tend to be much more motivated toward activities for which we understand the importance. Even if they aren’t as exciting as an exotic vacation. Most people don’t really know much about an “effective” hygiene checkup.

Effective hygiene enhances the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Visiting a hygienist at a biological dental office could open your eyes to a new and unique experience. Hygiene is not only about having someone clean your teeth.

First and foremost, effective hygiene is about your own education and prevention. It’s about motivation and participating in a dental health program designed to protect and stimulate the tooth and body connection.

Few people think about their teeth as “the only visible part of their skeleton.” That’s a powerful concept. You’re actually looking at your own skeleton when you look at your teeth.
Your teeth and gums not only give clues as to their own condition but also to your health in general. That’s why it’s so important to do more than simply a thorough cleaning.

An “effective” hygiene exam should include checking your saliva pH, evaluating a live sample of the microorganisms in your mouth under a microscope, an oral cancer screening, a tongue diagnosis, advice on nutritional support if desired, and offer a complete periodontal charting of your teeth and gums at least once every two years.

Providing this type of dental service usually requires about an hour to complete. However, you’ll find it’s time well spent. Collecting this information provides a greater insight into your health. Of course, it allows a more thorough evaluation by the hygienist and the dentist. However, it also creates an understanding of your needs in order to maintain or improve your state of health.

In July of 1998, the American Academy of Periodontology published a report that stated: “Infections in the mouth can play havoc elsewhere in the body.” Microbial infections, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even parasites have demonstrated an association between periodontal diseases and the following systemic complications: cardiovascular disease and stroke, diabetes, respiratory diseases, osteoporosis, and pre-term low birth weight babies. Additionally, periodontal disease has been linked to chronic fatigue, and increased risk for contracting other disease – typically colds and the flu – and overall malaise.

So are regular dental cleanings necessary? Absolutely. Did you know that 85% of adults have periodontal disease of one sort or another? Your hygienist monitors your progress on a regular basis. That is, if you get to your dentist’s office. Isn’t it comforting to know that someone else can help you keep an eye on your health?

Dental problems are not only a disease of the mouth but also a disease of the body. Any time part of your body becomes diseased, it stresses your entire immune system. The stress can be most harmful when the disease is a chronic one which is the form of dental disease from which most patients suffer.

A hygienist, educated in biological dentistry, can probably play the single most important role in your total preventive program. What use to be a “regular cleaning” just became a much more valuable experience for your health.

Dr. Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN (Certified Clinical Nutritionist). He practices Biological Dentistry that includes mercury free, tooth colored fillings; healthy dental materials; balancing body chemistry; and nutritional therapy. For information about Biological Dentistry and patient success stories visit www.toothandbodyconnection.com or call his office 314-997-2550. Attend a free monthly presentation and discussion by Dr. Rehme on Biological Dentistry in the seminar room at his office on the third Tuesday each month at 6:30 pm. Please call to verify the date and reserve your space.

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