Oral health problems linked to social well-being
April is oral health month, a great time to think about your own oral health care and wellbeing. Too often Canadians, even those who visit the dentist regularly and are committed to their oral care, ignore the signs of oral distress that might show up in their every day routine. Signs that, if found in other parts of their body, would have them running to the doctor, are brushed off.
I am guilty as charged. My gums bleed when I floss or brush too vigorously and I sometimes get tooth sensitivity, but it’s not consistent. I didn’t even think to make an appointment with my team at Periodontal Associates to discuss; I just thought I’d wait for my next appointment. As Dr. Quyen Su explains, signs such as bleeding, sensitivity, irritation and pain are not something that should be ignored until your next visit, but addressed with your dental care provider as soon as possible.
I didn’t know that my dental health team could actually identify signs of early health issues such as heart-disease, stroke and cancer based on what was happening with my mouth. This was an eye-opener and a scary one at that. What I learned was that 3,200 Canadians are diagnosed with, and 1,050 die each year from, oral cancer. Early detection is key and that is why the team at Periodontal Associates provides an oral cancer screening every time I have my regular examination.
While those numbers are alarming, one of the newest issues that Dr. Su and I discussed was around the social wellbeing of those with oral health issues. In today’s “selfie” world, a dazzling smile is an important calling card and those who are self-conscious about their smile, due to oral health issues, often report signs of stress, low self-esteem, depression and low quality of life.
While I don’t have first-hand experience, I can say that since taking care of my oral health issues, I do smile more in photos and share those online. For some, the issues go well beyond posting a photo or not and to those I would say, don’t be afraid to talk with your dental provider about how you are feeling. The team at Periodontal Associates has a wealth of information and resources at their disposal to help.
You aren’t alone.
So, if you are suffering from pain, bad breath, missing teeth, infections, or anxiety and depression caused by poor oral health, the team at Periodontal Associates in Mississauga want to talk with you and help identify the source of the issue. They are here to support and care for your complete oral health!