How dental and vision screenings can improve your health
Is it time for your next check up with the dentist and eye doctor? As tempting as it may be to put these appointments off, keep in mind that your next vision or dental screening could greatly impact your health.
Dental screening benefits
Yes, a timely trip to the dentist can help us maintain good, clean oral health, rescuing us from the horrible pain of a cavity or worse. Do you know about the mouth-body connection, however? The latest industry research shows increasing connections between gum disease and the occurrence of serious medical conditions, including:
- Heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke
- Cancers such as pancreatic cancer
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus
Our mouths maintain approximately 500 different types of bacteria, with at least 11 of those strains being the culprit for gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.
Untreated gum disease has the potential to affect your overall health, causing:
- Respiratory conditions – gum line bacteria that travels through saliva and is then inhaled
- Circulatory conditions – oral bacteria enters the blood and travels throughout the body
- Complications –gum inflammation impacts other areas of the body, causing complications to medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and kidney disease
According to a recent major survey, more than 75 percent of adults have a major form of gum disease, but only 60 percent have any significant knowledge of the problem.
Better vision, better health
Did you know that a basic eye exam can lead to the discovery of warning signs for diabetes and high blood pressure, among other serious medical conditions?
As one of the body’s most sensitive organs, the eyes can help paint a telling picture of our overall health. A visit to the eye doctor can help determine potential warning signs to your health and wellness, including:
- Diabetes – tell-tale indicators include tiny dots caused by leakage in blood vessels next to the retina; left untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness
- High blood pressure – bleeding in the retina is often a warning sign; left untreated high blood pressure can lead to serious cardiovascular conditions such as a heart attack or stroke
- High cholesterol – the presence of cholesterol can actually be spotted in the eye’s blood vessels; left untreated high cholesterol can result in coronary disease, high blood pressure or stroke
- Brain tumor – blurred vision, loss of vision, tunnel vision and floating shapes can all be warning signs of an existing tumor
- Eye cancer – although a rare condition, an eye doctor can quickly identify any unusual growths and recommend a specialist for diagnosis
It’s recommended that you get an eye exam at least once every two years, with annual visits if there’s a history of diabetes or glaucoma occurring for the patient or within their family history.
So don’t delay and make sure to keep that appointment. Your next dental or vision screening can be the one that helps to save your life.