When many people think of dental health, they think of keeping their smile looking bright. While this is certainly a nice benefit, keeping gums and teeth healthy is about so much more than that.
Our mouth is often one of our body’s main defenses against harmful, disease-causing bacteria, and regular care can help clients reduce their risk of infection, discomfort, and pain, while also promoting a healthy microbiome in the mouth. Good dental health has much more of an effect on our bodies than many may think, and it’s important to teach clients why taking care of their mouth means taking care of their bodies as a whole, too.
If you want to become a restorative dental hygienist, read on to find out more.
1. Practicing Good Dental Hygiene Can Help Prevent Periodontal Disease
As you may know, our gums provide support for our teeth, but bacteria that isn’t properly cleaned out can infect tissue, leading to gum disease like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Periodontal disease is one of the most common oral diseases on the planet, and is estimated by the World Health Organization to be the 11th most prevalent global disease. Typically, periodontal disease is caused by tobacco use and poor dental hygiene. In addition to encouraging clients to stop smoking, you can help them take care of their teeth. Recommending regular brushing and flossing can help them keep their gums healthy and prevent periodontal disease.
2. Restorative Dental Hygienists Know a Healthy Mouth Can Lead to a Healthy Heart
Periodontal disease has also been linked to cardiovascular health—in fact, people with periodontal disease have a greater risk of heart disease than those without.
Why? Although research is still ongoing, there is evidence that a bacterial inflammation in the gums can spread into the bloodstream, potentially causing clots that can eventually block the arteries to the heart. In order to lower the risk of heart disease and control bad bacteria, a restorative dental hygienist can suggest that clients care for their teeth and gums, including brushing twice a day, flossing to remove food or plaque, and using a recommended mouth rinse.
3. Dental Health Is About More than Just Teeth for Restorative Hygiene Training Students
Many clients may assume that dental health only involves having a nice white smile and fresh breath, but, as you learn in restorative hygiene training, the teeth are only one component.
The mouth is a gateway into our body, and good dental health can help it defend us against disease. Our saliva contains antibodies that fight off viral pathogens like the common cold, and helps wash away harmful bacteria, while the papillae of our tongue can collect germs and lead to bad breath. Our mouth is also the first step in the digestive process, and keeping it healthy can also help keep the microbiome in our stomach and immune system balanced.
4. Good Oral Health Can Help Detect and Prevent Oral Disease
As a restorative dental hygienist, your clients’ mouths give you a window into their general health, including early signs and symptoms of disease. Systematic diseases such as HIV/AIDS and diabetes often appear in the mouth first as lesions or other related problems, but it can be hard to identify these warning signs when your clients practice poor dental care.
In order to help catch diseases early, it’s a good idea to take clients through the steps of good dental care, and explain how this can help when trying to locate abnormalities such as lesions, growths, or anything that looks out of place.
Are you interested in a career where you help others?
Contact CADH for more information about our restorative hygiene college.