Dr. Maurice Miles Shares the Importance of a Comprehensive Dental Examination

With the arrival of January comes the joyous chorus of “new year, new me.” It’s the time when everyone brushes off cookie crumbs and holiday hibernation to kick it back in gear. There is still one thing that people tend to avoid during their resolution phase: going to the dentist. Good oral health and hygiene are imperative to your overall well-being. It should be a first step to the “new you.” Whether it is not enough time or anxiety regarding the dentist chair, many people are in need a comprehensive dental examination. 

Dr. Maurice Miles of Miles of Smiles Cosmetic and Family Dentistry urges everyone to make dental care a priority. Not only is Dr. Miles a skilled, knowledgeable dentist in our community, but he has also been a member of committees such as the Maryland Board of Dental Examiners and the American Board of Dental Examiners. He has served as the vice president and president. Dr. Miles was instrumental in getting a standard of care bill passed and signed by the governor of Maryland. He worked diligently to ensure that this was done so residents of Maryland could count on this standard of care across the board. He also volunteers his time and expertise in the dental industry in Jamaica.

Dr. Miles’ motto, “beautiful smiles for a healthy lifestyle,” is not only a clever saying. It is also a concept he wholeheartedly believes in.

“Patients will often come in and say, ‘fix my teeth,’ and my response is that I need to make it healthy before I can make it pretty,” he says.

A comprehensive dental examination can diagnose a number of issues including infections and oral cancers. Patients come to Dr. Miles and admit they are suffering from various ailments and haven’t seen their primary care doctor in several years. The exam includes taking a full inventory of their medical history, medications that they take, sugar levels, blood pressure and more. Oftentimes, Dr. Miles will refer them to the medical professional they need.

“I check blood pressure and ask about their medical history. If someone has uncontrolled diabetes or uncontrolled hypertension, they will often suffer from oral issues such as periodontal disease,” Dr. Miles says. “Patients will come in to be cleared for a medical procedure. The state and condition of the oral cavity will clearly predict the success of these surgeries.”

A quick look at the size of the tongue or missing posterior teeth can suggest sleep apnea issues which can cause exhaustion or low energy. These patients can then be referred to a sleep study. 

Currently, Dr. Miles is in training to be certified to deliver Botox as a treatment for chronic migraine headaches. Tension headaches and TMJ can trigger migraines that are so debilitating people are unable to function properly. The Botox treatment combined with a dental appliance such as a night guard can alleviate or eradicate these chronic migraines and give people a much better quality of life. 

It is a common misconception that people don’t need a dentist because they don’t suffer from tooth pain. Poor dental health can be an indication of systemic health issues that affect your overall well-being that need to be treated. The next step for “new year, new me” (after you hit the gym) is to schedule your next dental exam.