What Does Your Mouth Say About You?

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We must recognize we are not healthy without good oral health.  Evidence continues to support an association between certain oral conditions and systemic health.  Your oral health might affect, be affected by, or contribute to several diseases or conditions.  Understanding what your oral health may indicate of your overall health can be beneficial in helping protect yourself.

My contribution to RgVision will address some of the most pressing concerns in oral health.  Beginning in this issue, and in subsequent issues, I will highlight traditional practices, and maybe introduce new concepts to readers, but share what we as medical professionals have always known.

Convergence in oral and medical care is necessary to completely treat you, the patient.  The idea that our mouth and body are interconnected in more ways that we are aware of is recognized by the health care profession.  Dentists and physicians are collaborating to deliver a holistic approach to care in effort to be more patient-focused and efficient.  This holds promise for an optimal patient-care outcome.

Bad breath can simply be reflective of your dietary intake of certain foods, poor oral hygiene, or even smoking.  Persistent bad breath can be one of the warning signs of gum disease.  However, persistent bad breath in an individual who brushes and flosses regularly with good dental check-ups may be associated with a systemic condition.  This is attributed to small bacterial overgrowth in a person’s stomach that can appear as bad breath but not be associated at all with teeth.  Patients with Type I Diabetes Mellitus who have breath odor described as “musty or fruity” depicts that their diabetes is uncontrolled and is advised to seek medical attention right away.  This specifically is linked to a complication that can develop quickly known as diabetic ketoacidosis, a manageable condition if detected at onset.

Originally from the Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Brenda Landeros moved to San Antonio to attend St. Mary’s University, then to Dallas to pursue her doctorate degree from Baylor College of Dentistry.  In 2007, Dr. Landeros purchased Valley Family Dentistry.  Since, she has enjoyed living close to the beach, where she spends most weekends with her husband and their dog, Miles.  Dr. Landeros is a member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, and serves as a board member of the RGV Dental Society.