Everyone knows that dentists are your first line of defense against cavities and gum disease. But what many don’t realize is that dentists can help safeguard many aspects of your overall physical health. From diagnosis to general dentistry treatments, care from an experienced dentist could even save your life.
At Chisholm Trail Smile Center in Duncan, OK, Dr. Matthew Bridges offers a full range of dental services. With his recognition by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, he is especially qualified to treat sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and snoring.
Contact Chisholm Trail Smile Center to learn more about our services or to book an appointment.
It seems surprising that a dentist can treat sleep apnea. Don’t you need to go to a sleep specialist for care? Actually, a dentist can often provide convenient and effective treatment for sleep disorders.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which affects between 10 and 30% of adults, occurs when airflow through the throat is blocked. Breathing stops and patients wake up, often unconsciously. Dentists like Dr. Bridges can treat OSA by providing a comfortable, discreet oral appliance. The mouthguard will reposition the jaw to tighten soft tissues and keep the throat open.
Chronic headaches are often the result of dental misalignment, bruxism, and/or TMJ Disorder. When your bite is uneven or you frequently grind your teeth, this can damage your jaw joints and cause inflammation in the nearby muscles.
Once Dr. Bridges determines that your headaches are indeed dental-related, he can design a mouthguard, which will stop chronic teeth grinding. Relaxation techniques can also help, since bruxism is often connected to stress.
Ok, so you couldn’t visit dentists for your bypass surgery. But going to the dentist could prevent you from needing such procedures in the first place! There is a strong link between gum disease and heart disease. In fact, research shows that patients with gum disease are two to three times more likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke.
Visiting the dentist is one of the best ways to prevent periodontitis, which develops when oral bacteria build up in the gums. Routine cleanings can eliminate these microbes. And if you do develop gum disease, a deep cleaning can prevent serious complications like tooth loss.
Many pregnant women assume that they shouldn’t visit the dentist, but nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact, pregnant women may need more dental care. Expecting mothers are more likely to develop gum disease than other women. Research shows that 60-75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, the earliest, reversible stage of gum disease. If gum disease progresses, it can have serious consequences on unborn babies and may contribute to low birth weight and preterm labor.
This last health condition may not be as much of a surprise as the others. But it is included because oral cancer screenings are one of the most important services performed by dentists.
Taking place at every dental exam, screenings look for mouth sores and other symptoms. Patients who are diagnosed early have a much better prognosis, which is one reason that it is so important to visit your dentist twice a year.
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Dr. Bridges is committed to your systemic health and takes ongoing training to provide the best possible care. Contact our Duncan, OK, office to schedule your consultation.
Complete our online form or call us at 580-255-4880.