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Feb 13, 2014

Dental visits; Healthy Living tells you why they are necessary

Very few people enjoy going to the dentist but good oral hygiene is one way of ensuring good overall health. The mouth, including teeth and gums, is an organ in your body and poor oral hygiene can lead to health complications in other organs and body parts. Tonight in Healthy Living, we discuss this topic and perhaps give you one more reason to make those dentist visits more frequent.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

When we think about taking care of our bodies, we think about a good diet, regular exercise and managing stress. More often than not, we exclude proper oral health in the equation. According to Dental Surgeon, Doctor Leonel Sinai, it’s very common disconnect he sees in his patients.


Dr. Leonel Sinai, Dental Surgeon

“There is a direct connection; it’s the same body. The mouth is part of the body. That’s one of the things that most of the time patients forget. Understanding that they come with an emergency, they come and say a tooth is bothering me: get it out! Cause that’s the first thing they say But they forget that the tooth is a part of the body and if you don’t have a healthy body or conditions that are not under control then we can have serious health implications.”


Leonel Sinai

In fact, when evaluating patients and they are asked about pre-existing conditions like hypertension, diabetes, heart conditions and even HIV; many patients would question why. Not only, is this necessary to minimize risks during dental procedures; but also because the mouth can be very telling of a person’s health.


Dr. Leonel Sinai

“If you have diabetes and you don’t control besides that you don’t take care of your teeth, patients poorly control their diabetes, and bad hygiene can have infections, bacterial and fungal infections.  This increase the risk for periodontitis, bone loss, increased infections there. Mobility of teeth, inflamed gums that bleed easily and abscess and whenever a patient needs an extraction due to cavities or periodontitis, even before the procedure is done the patient can develop serious infections that if not treated properly the infection might spread to other areas where other organs may be involved, resulting in fatal casualties.”


They have even detected signs of leukemia and HIV via symptoms in the mouth and have had to advise patients to seek further medical attention.


Dr. Leonel Sinai

“Bleeding, bleeding of the gums, petechiaes (red dots) epistaxis (bleeding of the nose), pain, edema, gingivitis, periodontitis, infections, fatigue, fever, malaise, and weight loss. If you see any of those symptoms then you advise the patient to seek medical attention and make sure that is not leukemia or something else.”


Poor oral hygiene however can increases your risks to infections of the inner lining of the heart called bacteria endocarditis. Prosthetic heart valves, rheumatic fever, congenital heart disease, Heart problems and Micro-organisms in the blood stream will also increase those risks.


Dr. Leonel Sinai

“If this happens it could lead to embolization, impaired heart function resulting in heart failure and death. So it’s very important that these patients, before they go into any dental treatment, or any treatment that involves bleeding should take antibiotics, prophylactic antibiotic.  That’s the key, if you don’t have proper oral hygiene, get your regular checkups you could have serious problems later that might not develop you immediately but could affect you later.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Dental visits; Healthy Living tells you why they are necessary”

  1. LOL says:

    I should have studied to be a Dentist;I would have a lot of customers. The amount of people in Belize who have messed up teeth are limitless.

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