SAN ANTONIO — For some people, going to the dentist is not a pleasurable activity. But it could save your life. And some are getting care without setting foot inside a dental office.
Most people understand that getting a cavity and not taking care of it could lead to eventually losing a tooth. But if it progresses further, much more can happen.
Dr. Leonard Weiss, the Chief Dental Officer for United Healthcare Dental told us, "We would be able to also see gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. If that continues to proceed, then we would have something called periodontitis, which is an actual bone loss."
From there, the rest of your body faces serious health risks. Dr. Weiss added, "If you were to actually develop those disease processes in the bacteria in the oral mouth, those things can contribute to very general medical conditions, some of which we're very familiar with. For example, diabetes, heart conditions, dementia."
Dentists says getting away from the manual toothbrush and getting an electric toothbrush is definitely the way to go. Some, like one called Quip, is a smart toothbrush, and through their app, it will tell you what you are doing wrong and how to fix it.
Dr. Weiss added, "You can understand brush stroke, the intensity that you're doing, how many times you're actually brushing their teeth, the amount of surface that the tooth is getting cleaned, so that therefore, it gives you the best opportunity to clean."
And with some patients still afraid to go back to the dentist because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are even virtual dental visits. Dr. Weiss said, "The patient is going to go ahead and give us symptoms and signs of what they're feeling. Since most smartphones have cameras, we now can go ahead and have the patient turn the camera around."
Dr. Weiss says never forget to brush at least twice daily, floss, and even consider getting a water pik if you don't have one.
For more information on family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Wear The Gown stories here.