Effects of Oral Health on Overall Health

“Oral health is not only important to your appearance and sense of well – being, but also to your overall health. Cavities and gum disease may contribute to many serious conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. Untreated cavities can also be painful and lead to serious infections.”

– from Health Canada Healthy Living Guidelines

For more information see Health Canada, Healthy Living website and Canadian Dental Association website.

Prophylactic Antibiotics And Dentistry

Antibiotics are recommended for certain types of heart conditions, immuno-compromised patients and those with poorly controlled diabetes. It is recommended that these patients have antibiotics before certain dental procedures such as dental cleanings and extractions. The purpose of the prophylactic antibiotic in these cases is to reduce the risk of a bacterial infection occurring for that patient.

The Role of X-rays in Dental Care

The standard of care for dental x-rays when combined with a cleaning is once /year if needed (i.e.)caries is apparent or every two years for screening and detection of decay between teeth or in places not visually accessible or detectible by feel, these types of x-rays are called bitewings.

X-rays are also important for the detection of periodontal disease and to see the overall support for the teeth in the jawbone. They are used to check for changes at the end of the tooth root. This is a way to check on the overall health of each individual tooth. These x-rays are called periapicals.

A panorex x-ray is another type of x-ray. This type is used to check for size and position of wisdom teeth. It is also valuable for checking the jaw joint or temporalmandibular joint (TMJ). It shows us the level of support the teeth have in the jaws and may also be used to check for abnormalities in the jaw.