- Patient Education
More than just a pretty smile, maintaining optimal oral health is essential for staying healthy. The oral cavity has a unique composition of healthy bacteria and yeasts commonly called “normal flora.” The balance of organisms can easily be altered by systemic illness, treatments, or poor oral hygiene. Even individuals with ideal physical and mental health can be challenged in their pursuit of optimal oral health. People with complicated medical and/or mental health problems have a greater incidence of oral health problems because many are unable to perform the basic tasks necessary for fundamental oral hygiene. This is compounded by the fact that some systemic diseases and medications used in their treatment compound the risk of oral problems such as gum disease, infections or tooth decay. Medications that cause immunosuppression (suppression of the body’s immune system) can allow normal flora in the saliva and oral cavity to grow beyond the typical range thus causing infections. Bacteria from the mouth can also enter the bloodstream through the gums which can become a serious medical problem. For these reasons, the medical staff here at the IMSMP urges their patients to take care of their teeth and gums.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the following for good oral hygiene: