Dentistry that brings out the best in the smile … and the whole self!
We know that there are thousands of dentists to choose from in our part of southern California. However, not all of these dental professionals understand and acknowledge the connections between the function, structure, and appearance of your smile and mouth and the health and function of the rest of your body. At Serene Dentistry Ventura, we are true whole-body practitioners.
Dr. Klara N. Efner and our kind and skilled team view each relationship, engagement, product, technique, service, and technology through the lens of systemic and whole-body health. This approach supports oral care that is genuinely in your long-term best interests as a complex, multi-faceted human being – and not just as a set of teeth and gums to be “drilled, filled, and billed.”
We bring out the best in your smile … and you!
Oral health refers to the health and integrity of all parts of the oral cavity (mouth). This includes the teeth, gums, supporting tissues, bone, jaws, joints, oral mucosa (lining of the mouth), tongue, lips, musculature, salivary glands. The oral-systemic connection has been researched extensively and there is an undeniable link between the oral and overall health and wellness.
Consider how we often take for granted basic functions, such as opening and closing the mouth without pain or chewing food efficiently and comfortably. When we are missing teeth, when it hurts to eat, because our teeth are decayed or our gums are inflamed or infected, when our jaw joints are tender or we have a limited mouth opening, the entire equilibrium shifts. We may now lack proper nutrition which will lead to a whole plethora of complications, including impaired immune system, vulnerability to infections, difficulties with wound healing, to name a few.
Another example: a local infection that had originated in the mouth, can travel through the bloodstream to critical parts of our bodies and cause a subsequent systemic infection. Conditions such as Periodontitis (severe gum disease), give rise to systemic health challenges due to the presence of certain harmful bacteria which can then enter the bloodstream and slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain.
There’s a link between bacteria found in the gums and surrounding structures of persons with Periodontal disease, and Alzeheimer’s disease. Some of these bacteria are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and cause irreversible damage to the brain structures.
Similarly, previously undiagnosed systemic diseases can show first signs in the oral cavity. For example, you may have continuous wear of your teeth enamel due to GERD or acid reflux, you may have sleep apnea and grind your teeth in efforts to open an obstructed airway during sleep – completely unconsciously, you may have an auto-immune condition that will show up as sores or ulcerations in your mouth. We screen for all of these signs and alert you immediately as we notice anything abnormal.
So, oral problems can cause disease. They can also be symptoms of other diseases or reflect poor systemic health.
A few examples:
- Gum disease as a symptom of diabetes or poor blood sugar control
- Enamel erosion and cavities as a symptom of stomach acids and reflux disorders
- Mouth sores and gum swelling as a reflection of Crohn’s disease and other GI disorders
- Advanced gum disease as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications, respiratory infections, arthritis, and cognitive decline
We are such big believers in the importance of fostering mental, emotional, physical, and one’s whole body well-being that Dr. Efner applies her yoga instructor training to offer weekly classes free of charge to her valued patients on Saturdays. We look forward to seeing you soon, chairside and on the yoga mat! Call (805) 653-1599 or request an appointment on this website.