Systemic Oral Health

When patients in Costa Mesa, California connect with the team at Smiles4OC, they are often working with the dentists in the practice to keep the smile healthy and to avoid the development of gum disease, infections, and cavities. However, it is also important for patients to educate themselves on the importance of oral health due to systemic infections which can occur. Oral systemic health refers to the health of the rest of the body based on the health of the smile.

More research studies are confirming what many physicians and dentists have long suspected. Poor oral health can lead to systemic health problems and diseases. The list of conditions linked to periodontitis (gum disease) reads like a who’s-who of disease, including:

  • Systemic inflammation
  • Weight gain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Snoring
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Ulcers
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Sleep apnea

DNA testing proves that a person has over 800 species of bacteria in the human mouth, and many of them can wreak havoc on a person’s health. Oral health is critical to your good health and long life.


Good dental care as a child can save you a lot of time in the dental chair as an adult. Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Timothy J. Rolfes, and Pravay Padia recommend that you bring your child for their first visit by their 1st birthday. They proudly offer services for not only adults, but for children who are seeking pediatric care. Our staff is committed to treating the entire family, allowing appointments for the whole household to make it easier than ever for everyone to get the care they need with one stop at the office!

Oral Cancer Awareness - Dr. Thomas Rolfes

Oral Cancer Awareness - Dr. Thomas Rolfes
Oral Cancer Awareness

It’s never too late! Did you know that Oral cancer is the 6th most common cancer globally and 650,000+ new oral cancer cases are found each year worldwide. More than 300,000 people will die because of oral cancer each year, according to the WHO. Are you at risk? Signs and symptoms to look for – A sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away. Red or white patches or pain tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips. Lumps thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas. Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw or tongue. Change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth. Catch it early with Self-examination and have regular dental visits.

Step 1 – press along the sides and front of your neck and face to feel for any tenderness, swelling or lumps.

Step 2 – Pull back your lips and look for sores and color changes on your lip and gums.

Step 3 – Use your fingers to pull out your cheeks, look for any colour changes like red, white, or dark patches. With your index fingers and thumb, check the outside of your cheeks to feel for any lumps.

Step 4 – tilt your head back and open your mouth wide to look for lumps or colour changes.

Step 5 – Examine the top, back, and sides of your tongue for swellings or colour changes.

Step 6 – Touch the roof of your mouth with your tongue and look at the underside and floor of your mouth for colour changes and lumps. Using one finger inside your mouth and one finger on the outside fell for any unusual bumps, swelling or tenderness. It’s not too late to quit your bad habits for your loved ones. Let’s beat oral cancer today.

Cell to Cell Communication – Oral Health and Systemic Health Patient Version

There is nothing normal about blood in your mouth. Blood is the result of inflammation and disease, caused by bacteria in the mouth. As these bacteria continue to build and secrete toxins, the toxins accumulate and because they aren’t getting cleaned out, begin to irritate the neighboring gum tissue. Sensing the irritation, the body responds with an automatic system that’s a defense mechanism. This is referred to as the body’s inflammatory response.

The problem with the kind of inflammation that is triggered by gum disease is that it does not stay in the mouth. Many of them are bad actors, pathogens that can cause infection, inflammation, and disease. Some of them can get into your bloodstream and spread everywhere throughout your body. The result is something called chronic systemic inflammation.
Systematic Oral Health Costa Mesa - Osteoporosis - Snoring
Systematic Oral Health Costa Mesa - Osteoporosis - Snoring

Medical experts agree that hardening of the arteries is due to the build-up of fatty plaque. Now recent research indicates the “inflammation effect” is the primary cause. While this area of dentistry is constantly being studied and evaluated, it continues to show that inflammation in the smile can be a contributor to hardened arteries.
Gum disease has emerged in recent research as an important risk factor for ischemic stroke, the kind that involves a blockage that stops blood flow to the brain. This is due to the transfer of the infection throughout the body. Gum disease is completely preventable when patients take diligent care of their smile, making dental care more important than ever!
We know that people with diabetes are at higher risk of developing gum disease. But when gum disease occurs in people who have diabetes, it can have a direct effect on their diabetes control. Patients with diabetes are urged to visit their dentist regularly to monitor not only their oral health but to ensure the systemic infection is not contributing to their condition.
The primary risk posed by gum disease during pregnancy is preterm delivery and low birth weight, but researchers have also linked gum disease to gestational diabetes. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, make dental health a priority for you and your baby!
When you take control of your physical health and your dental health, you are on your way to making sure you are doing everything you can to stay healthy. Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, and Timothy J. Rolfes will pay special attention to your dental and health needs. Our team will adapt a diagnostic process when giving you your regular checkups to include baseline data about your health including any chronic problems like heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, ulcers, and arthritis and evaluate how it is affecting your oral health. We will consider all factors affecting your general health in your dental care. That is critical.
Any patient who is not monitoring their oral health and is not caring for their smile between dental visits is at risk of developing conditions such as periodontal disease and tooth decay, which can impact the smile in a negative manner.
Following through with recommended dental treatment. Have regular physical examinations Take control of your health and do not forget the importance of diet and exercise.
At Smiles4OC, our team of professional want to help patients learn more about how their oral health affects the rest of their bodies. Contact Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, and Timothy J. Rolfes today to book an appointment and an initial evaluation to monitor your dental health. We can be reached by calling (714) 557-0700 and we welcome new patients into our practice conveniently located at 1530 Baker Street, Suite J in Costa Mesa, California. Take time to learn more about your oral health today and we can walk you through the process of treating periodontal disease and other conditions that may negatively affect the smile and body.

Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Thomas

Dr. Thomas

Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Christina

Dr. Christina

Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Tim

Dr. Tim

Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Pravay

Dr. Pravay

Having earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Loyola Marymount University and his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Georgetown University, Dr. Thomas Rolfes has been providing dental care from his Costa Mesa location since 1984. He holds a Fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry, among memberships from many prestigious organizations. Dr. Christina Do, specializing in laser dentistry, and Dr. Timothy Rolfes, whose passion is community dentistry, also comprise the team, including skilled hygienists, dental assistants, and administrative staff dedicated to helping people in the area fulfill their dental needs. The new addition to our family, Dr. Pravay Padia, brings with him over 10 years of experience in the dental field, with expertise in endodontics and cosmetic dentistry.