3 Reasons Why Oral Health Should be a Priority

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Global leader in healthcare technology Allscripts have just announced that they are extending their partnership with Microsoft to boost cloud based EHR. With industry leaders taking this step, it’s a good bet that cloud based EHR is a trend that will be sticking around. Cloud based EHR means that patients data is safer because it is stored in the cloud rather than in a physical file, and it also means that patients can quickly and easily share information with their healthcare provider. For example, a patient might share their fitbit stats or a picture of an injury, which would give the healthcare provider an idea of what might be needed even before meeting with them. Probably the greatest advantage to cloud based EHR is the fact that different healthcare providers can easily share patient information with one another. 

A huge amount of information can be gleaned from the records of dentists like emergencydentalservice.com which can be invaluable because oral health has a huge impact on the health of the rest of the body. Here are three reasons why you should make oral health a top priority:

Indicator for physical disease

A study published by The American Society for Microbiology showed that oral infection, particularly periodontitis, may affect the course of physical diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, heart disease, hepatitis and esophageal cancer.

The study proved a correlation rather than a causation, but if a healthcare provider has a patient with some symptoms of these diseases and also has access to dental records showing a history of oral infection or periodontitis, then this information could be a valuable extra piece of the puzzle when it comes to making a speedy diagnosis. 

This link also demonstrates the importance of considering oral hygiene alongside the health of the rest of the body; good oral hygiene could potentially help to prevent disease.

Links to Alzheimer’s

Studies are ongoing to determine if there is a possibility that the oral bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis, or Pg, could be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease. According to a recent article researchers now know that Pg can get across the blood brain barrier and cause pathological changes in the brain.

When studying the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients, higher levels of gingipans, which are Pg proteins, were found than in the brains of patients without Alzheimer’s. Researchers gathered further evidence of the Pg link to Alzheimer’s by using an experimental drug to neutralize gingipans in animals, and found that as a result they did not develop the Alzheimer’s pathology. 

Paying attention to oral hygiene could help to stop the development of Alzheimer’s. Healthcare providers may also be able to use the presence of Pg in a patient to help them to reach an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Risk for pregnancy

For healthcare providers looking after people during pregnancy, if periodontitis is flagged up on the patient’s EHR then this is something that should be monitored. Studies have linked periodontitis to premature birth and low birth weight. If healthcare providers are aware of this risk through the EHR, then they can take steps to better care for the patient by promoting good oral hygiene and monitoring for other warning signs of premature birth and low birth weight.

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