I recently happened to catch an episode of one of the most popular TV shows: The Biggest Loser. This particular episode's challenge engaged the kids to make food choices by selecting which foods had more calories: fats or carbohydrates. Their selections then determined the total pounds the adult contestants had to lose that week.
While learning some healthy habits myself, it occurred to me that this show didn't address the importance or risk factor that oral health has in connection to obesity. With approximately one-third of the US population battling obesity, we must recognize the impact of oral health and arrive at a plan to begin a home care regimen. This should also be followed by the periodontal therapy recommended by that particular practice.
Check out the health impact of obesity, taken from the Department of Health. Notice how gum disease is dissed as a health impact regardless of gender.
Diagnosing the stages of gum disease, therapy, and products that can best contribute to your patients' oral health must align. It is here that our gray area in periodontal screening and diagnosis exists. Some dentists prefer to refer to a specialist, others use lasers with success, and others treat within their practice.
That said, let's stick to the basics for gum health products. Toothpaste, toothbrush, interdental cleaner, and mouth rinse products are important. Patients rely on our knowledge for products. My advice: Make it fun and interesting so they "get" it!
Here are some helpful products:
Additionally, Water Pik Water Flosser can be 29% more effective at removing plaque than string floss! Just a 3-second application of pulsating water at 70 psi can result in up to 99.9% plaque removal from the treated area. Personally, I'm an advocate for this, yet I have worked for a specialist who was not. Pay attention to your doctor’s preference so you do not confuse your patient.
OraCare mouth rinse by Dentist Select can kill some of the bacteria association with periodontal disease. This rinse has a pleasant clean taste, does not stain your teeth, can help whiten them, can break down biofilm, and can safely be used long-term.
These 3 basics components are your start to win the battle of the bulging gum tissue. Home care habits are the first line of defense only preceded by your co-diagnosis in periodontal assessment, and followed with assertive therapy provided by your practice or specialist. After all, the biggest loser should reflect the loss of weight, not teeth!
Anastasia challenges dental professionals to continually raise the standard of patient care. She is an author in several dental industry publications and is published as an oral health source for numerous online consumer-based sites. Her weekly video blog on YouTube; Anastasia's Hump Day Happenings answers questions from the general public on oral health topics. Anastasia is a spokesperson, independent consultant, working with several companies to develop website content, social media presence, continuing education programs and in-office training for dental hygiene departments on product integration with team communication.