What happens in the mouth doesn’t always stay in the mouth. The same is true with the rest of your body. In fact, there are some health conditions within other functions of your body that can inadvertently affect your mouth. More specifically, you may be battling a chronic medical condition that puts you at a higher risk for cavities.
Tooth decay isn’t always caused by too much sugar and poor brushing habits. Dental decay can also be a side effect or warning sign of something much bigger or more serious going on inside your body. Here are three common diseases that can cause or largely contribute to tooth decay:
Diabetes and dental health can be a two-way street. In other words, poor oral health can make your diabetes worse and poorly managed diabetes can also cause harm your teeth and gums. Whether you have type I or type II diabetes, your body’s blood sugar is elevated and your mouth can be affected. One of the most common drawbacks is a dry mouth, or xerostomia. Our teeth need proper amounts of saliva to protect against decay-causing bacteria and acids. Therefore, diabetics often suffer from frequent cavities as well as gum disease.
#2 Autoimmune Conditions
Autoimmune conditions can involve an expansive list of diseases in which the body attacks itself. One of the most known autoimmune diseases to impact oral health is Sjögren’s syndrome. Just like diabetes, Sjögren’s reduces the amount of saliva the mouth produces, which has the same detrimental effects on dental health. It becomes important for these patients to monitor their oral health more closely and even consider oral care products designed to boost saliva production.
#3 Anorexia and Bulimia
While it may not be a condition you were born with, anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders that impact the body as well as the mouth. They develop from an intense fear of gaining weight and either involve eating very few calories or regurgitating food. While there are many functions and parts of the body to suffer during these eating disorders, your teeth can be especially compromised. Not only are your teeth and gums not getting the nutrients they need to maintain optimal health, but bulimic patients may also have severe erosion due to the frequent contact of stomach acids during vomiting. Enamel erosion puts your teeth at significant risk for cavities since the outer protective layer is weakened.
Disclose Your Complete Medical History
At Gilreath Dental, we always ask for your full medical history when you visit us. There’s good reason for this. If you suffer from an overall health condition, it could influence the way we need to care for your smile. Prevention is paramount when it comes to your dental health. Call our Marietta office today to schedule your checkup!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,