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Categories: Dental Health

Oral Health-The gateway to overall health

Tooth joke of the day – Which teeth do you have to brush? Answer – Just the ones you want to keep. Humor aside, do you get regular dental checkups? Oral health is extremely important and a gateway to overall health.

Untreated tooth decay, cavities and gum disease can cause pain, tooth loss, and oral infections. Oral infections can lead to inflammation elsewhere in the body and trigger chronic disease. Poor oral health is linked to cardiovascular health, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. In the United States, 1 in 4 have untreated cavities and nearly half of adults ages 30 and over have signs of gum disease.

Dr. Lydia Wright, a dentist at HopeHealth Medical Plaza in Florence, says: “The oral cavity is the first bodily system used in the digestive process and chewing is important to start this process. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy allows you to eat a wide variety of foods, and that alone will improve the diversity of nutrients your body receives, which promotes overall health.”

In 2021, 67.7% of South Carolinians reported at least one annual dental visit, which is wonderful, but many people still put off going to the dentist. Populations who tend to avoid dental checkups include males, Hispanics, African Americans, people with less than a high school education or annual income of less than $25,000 per year, as well as uninsured or underinsured adults. The two main reasons people don’t visit the dentist are cost and fear. And many will visit the emergency department for tooth or gum pain instead of the dentist’s office.

It is important to develop a relationship with your dentist about any fear related to anxiety, potential pain, drill noise or bad news about your teeth and gums, along with any bad memories from past dental work.

“There have been numerous advances in dental care that cause less pain along with the technology of quieter drills to help with the fear factor,” Wright said.”We work with each patient individually to help find ways to alleviate fear in the dental chair and provide a more positive experience for checkups or any dental issues.”

HopeHealth provides affordable dental care for the uninsured to the fully insured and can help develop payment plans for those who need them with locations in both Florence and Kingstree. HopeHealth Dental Services offer professional dental care and oral health education to help prevent dental and chronic disease and build the confidence to smile more. Dental care services are available for both children and adults and include preventive services such as cleaning, fluoride application, sealants, deep cleanings, X-rays, fillings, extractions, and crowns.

The American Dental Association recommends a dental checkup twice a year. Dental checkups include a cleaning and an examination to help prevent or treat tooth decay and gum disease. You may have X-rays done and your dentist can also check any fillings and screen for mouth cancer. The best preventive daily care for oral health is to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.

By taking care of your oral health, you can improve your overall health and have the confidence to show that beautiful smile!

For more information on Dental Services at HopeHealth, call 843-413-3255 in Florence or 843-355-5628 in Kingstree.



HopeHealth educates its patients on the importance of having a health care home. As a primary care facility, HopeHealth’s medical team works to prevent and detect illness and the early onset of disease, provide routine physical examinations and promote overall healthy lifestyles.

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HopeHealth 360 North Irby St. Florence, SC 29501 (843) 667-9414
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