Our whole mission has been to help show that what happens in your mouth doesn’t stay in your mouth — it affects your entire body! A good question to do with that is, if you have problems with your mouth and get back up to healthy standards, does it stop the effect on your body? Well, yeah!

You can certainly stop it from getting worse, but you’re not going to reverse it unless you really start changing your lifestyle. Studies have shown that with the proper lifestyle changes, you can actually reverse cardiovascular disease. That’s incredible! But it takes a serious effort to undo years and years of damage.

If you’re struggling to make the call on whether or not you should make that effort, think of Cure vs. Prevention. A cure is getting a new heart valve; prevention is that you didn’t need to get a new one at all. Which one sounds better to you? Obvious answer is prevention — but the biggest challenge is that most of the time, you’d never know there was something to prevent in the first place, when most oral infections cause no pain.

It ties into acute care in hospitals. Sure, if you have a problem they’ll do their best to fix you back up, but acute care is short-term. It causes a huge void in treatment; they don’t get the chance to find out why you had the problem, so you can prevent it from having it again. We need to get to the source, not just the symptom.

We talk more about getting to the source of a problem and acute care, along with how we can better care for our oral health in this week’s episode of the “Your Filthy Mouth” podcast.

Until next week …

Charles “Dr. Chuck” Reinertsen, DMD, has been practicing dentistry in Central Florida since 1979 and is author of the book, “The Power of a Really Great Smile.” His passion is spreading the word about how the health of your mouth is intrinsically linked to the rest of your body. Learn more at www.yourfilthymouth.com.