More Than Smiles – Covington, LA
More Than SMILES
- As dental professionals, patient education plays an integral role in helping our patients reach optimum health. There are known connections between oral health and overall health, including heart attacks, strokes and brain health. Our "More Than Smiles" initiative creates awareness and a healthier community through education, testing and communication.
- Many people may see their dentist twice a year but never see a physician until there is a problem. Our team is trained to help identify oral conditions that may result in referral to a physician for further attention and proper diagnosis.
- Your MoreSMILES dentist and hygienist monitor your overall health and ensure we are providing the correct method of care to fit your personal needs. We screen each patient for things such as sleep disorders, jaw joint dysfunction screens and tests. This may include blood pressure checks, saliva testing, A1C testing, TMD screening, and an Epworth Scale.
- Outside the office, we also provide educational events with local experts and specialists to provide an opportunity for our patients and community to learn and ask questions. Knowledge and preparation are key in preventing and fighting major health complications.
Hygiene and Preventive Care
- It's more than a smile...so it's more than a cleaning. Your MoreSMILES Hygienist and Dentist care about your overall health and how it’s effected by your oral health.
- At your visit, your hygienist will take extra steps to monitor your health signs by screening for gum disease, oral cancer, diabetes, sleep disorders, eating disorders, signs of heart disease, and signs of other potentially dangerous health complications that manifest in the head and neck area.
- Over 1,000 different bacteria are found in dental plaque. If left to breed, this can cause more harmful bacteria, leading to cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease.
- Periodontitis is contagious, spreading through saliva between family members and pets.
- Periodontal disease cannot be cured, but it can be prevented and maintained once diagnosed.
- Uncontrolled oral bacteria can get into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on the rest of your body. This has been linked to many debilitating and life-threatening health conditions.
- Particularly contagious pathogens play a role in the progression of vascular disease and heart attacks, colorectal cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease, respiratory disease, erectile dysfunction and adverse pregnancy outcomes. These bacteria, once in the bloodstream, can also interfere with the success of joint procedures such as hip and knee replacement surgery.
- Risk factors that can lead to gum disease: smoking, restorative dental work, medications, genetics, stress, systemic disease.
- Preventive Care lowers medical costs. Treating gum disease lowers annual medical costs associated with the treatment of diseases linked to these health complications.
- Professional hygiene visits are preventive care. MoreSMILES hygienists use their knowledge and training to care for and help maintain your overall health through exams, screenings, medical history review, and intraoral imaging and wellness scans.
- Oral Systemic Health maintenance, screenings, and tests performed at MoreSMILES:
- Saliva testing to understand your health risk factors
- Oral cancer screening
- Gingival tissue exam
- A1C testing
- Blood pressure screening
- Health history review
- Digital intraoral wellness scans
- Epworth Scale and physical exam for risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Saliva testing helps to identify specific bacteria and associated health risks. Dental plaque is home to over 1,000 types bacteria. If left to breed, this can cause more harmful bacteria to grow, leading to cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease.
- Periodontal disease is linked to blood vessel disease, heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Connections between Gum Disease and Systemic Health:
- The mouth is the gateway to the body. Once in the bloodstream, bacteria from the mouth can have a negative impact on many organs and bodily processes. This can cause or worsen a number of health complications.
- About half of all American’s have some form of periodontitis, which decreases the ability to fight infection and inflammation.
- A link has been identified between periodontal disease-causing bacteria and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, lung infections, adverse pregnancy outcomes, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, erectile disfunction, poor gut health and COVID-19 complications.
- According to the ADA, having diabetes triples your risk of developing gum disease, also increasing your risk of developing cavities, dry mouth, and other oral complications. And, the reverse is true, that having gum disease increases your risk of diabetes.
- Poor oral health and unbalanced oral bacteria can even interfere with the success knee replacement surgery.
- People with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to suffer from heart disease.
- Pregnancy is affected by gum disease by increasing the risk of low birth weight and premature birth. Periodontal-causing bacteria has even been discovered in the placenta.
Sleep Apnea and TMJ Disorder (TMD):
- Misalignment, poor jaw relationship, can cause pain and discomfort, such as headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder pain, and facial pain.
- Poor ventilation during sleep triggers nighttime clenching and bracing to maintain airway. This may be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA may be treated using an oral sleep appliance, custom fitted by a sleep trained dentist.
- Poor jaw relationship, or malocclusion, can lead to head, neck and shoulder, and ear pain. This can be worsened by decay and loss of teeth.
- A bad bite and poor oral-facial development can also increase risk for sleep apnea and TMJ disorder (TMD).
Pregnancy and Birth:
- Bacteria associated with periodontal disease can lead to pregnancy complications such as preterm birth and low birth weight.
- Fluctuations in hormones during pregnancy can lead to inflamed and sensitive gums when oral bacteria is present and can increase the risk of gingivitis.
- Morning sickness – Stomach acid can damage tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay.
- If you are or may be pregnant, make sure to inform your dentist and hygienist prior to your next appointment so they can tailor your visit to your new health needs and ensure your visit is safe and effective for you and your baby.