Your dentist is qualified and trained to care for your mouth. This involves diagnosing, maintaining and repairing your teeth, gums and jaw as needed. However, since there is a strong link between your oral health and your overall health, there are certain medical conditions that can present themselves in the mouth.
Here are five medical problems that your dentist might be able to catch during a routine exam due to warning signs in your mouth:
Diabetics often suffer from a lower immune system. When it comes to the mouth, this may mean a persistent battle with gum disease, either gingivitis or periodontitis. Research has also shown diabetes and oral health to be a two-way street. In other words, poorly managed blood glucose levels can contribute to gum disease and gum disease can also impact blood glucose levels.
- HEART DISEASE
Once again, the condition of your gums can point to problems in other areas of your body. Your cardiovascular health is one of the most drastically impacted by gum disease. Inflammation and infection within the gums means there is bacteria present. This bacteria can essentially enter the bloodstream and travel to your heart. There it can cause inflammation and contribute to blockage, resulting in coronary artery disease and even heart attack. This is worsened if you also have dental plaque flowing through your arteries.
- ORAL CANCER
Cancer can occur in multiple places in the body – including the mouth. In fact, oral cancer can be fatal if not detected early. Symptoms of oral cancer include hard lumps or bleeding sores in the mouth that do not go away on their own. Always discuss any suspicious lesions or new symptoms with your dentist.
Your bones are the framework of your entire body. Your smile is held together by your jawbone and other surrounding tissues. When osteoporosis sets in, you may find that you have receding gums and loose teeth caused by the bone and tissue loss around your mouth.
- EATING DISORDERS
While eating disorders are often kept a secret to others, there may be some telltale signs in your mouth that you can’t hide. Not only can anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa present symptoms of malnutrition in the mouth, but there may also be signs of enamel loss, dry mouth and bleeding gums from frequent vomiting.
Routine dental visits are more important than you may think. Professional teeth cleanings can prevent decay, gum disease and other disruptions within your smile, but your overall exam can also provide valuable insight as to what may be going on in the rest of your body. To schedule your routine dental appointment with an experienced and trusted Marietta dentist, call Gilreath Dental Associates today.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,