A smile says a lot about someone. It’s a natural gesture to want to smile back, but what if your pearly whites are less than attractive? Products that whiten teeth have bombarded the market with effort to improve the everyday appearance of someone’s smile. What if our teeth are trying to tell us something is wrong? Okay, most people try to fix their appearances rather than read into warning signs that our bodies are giving us. What concerns should be addressed when looking at a smile that makes you question how many cups of coffee or sweets a person consumes? Well, you’ve come to the right place, these are common medical questions most people will ask the Internet for the answer before stepping foot into a doctor’s office.
Vitamin D Deficiencies
As it turns out, if your body is severely lacking in Vitamin D you are naturally more prone to cavities. What’s good for your bones is good for your teeth. While teeth are different than bones they do share similar tissues and are impacted just the same. Vitamin D is better than fluoride because it combats the bacteria that create plaque buildup. Fluoride is dangerous in high doses and is even banned in some countries. So, the next time your dentist offers up the bubble gum flavored fluoride let them know you’ll be soaking up rays of sunshine for your Vitamin D intake as cavity prevention.
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetics are far more susceptible to cavities than a healthy person. Diabetes is a disease that impacts blood sugar levels. Cavities happen because of a plaque build up on the teeth; the acidic film coats the teeth and eats away at the enamel of the tooth. Elevated blood sugar increases the acid that eventually damages the teeth and creates a cavity. Good dental hygiene with diabetes is critical to fighting cavities or gum disease.
An influx of sugar in a person’s diet can cause weight gain, changes in mood, increased risk of diabetes, and poor dental health. People that are obese need to be more aware of dental hygiene because eating unhealthy sugary food increases the chances for cavities. Plaque worsens when sugar is increased in a diet because the bacteria use the sugar to produce acid that destroy enamel if not removed by brushing or flossing.
Sjögren’s (“Show-grins”) Syndrome
Sjögren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes white blood cells to invade the glands that produce moisture. Silvia is impacted and causes chronically severe dry mouth. Dry mouth increases tooth decay significantly. Unfortunately, this disease can be brought on by radiation treatment or chemotherapy.
Depression impacts every aspect of a person’s life, including dental health. The habits created by depression can be the most harmful. For instance, someone with a clean bill of health could loose their job and take up smoking, over-eating, and begin clenching or grinding their teeth at night. The lack of oral hygiene causes teeth to become weak and increases plaque build up.
Women and Hormonal Imbalances
In a recent study by the American Dental Association, women could be more prone to getting cavities due to pregnancy. There are certain female-specific hormones that cause women to crave sweeter foods that provide much needed energy during pregnancy. It’s also stated that women do not produce the same amount of saliva as men. With less production of saliva women will not be able to remove food residue in the same volume as men. It’s recommended that women during pregnancy be more cognizant of dental hygiene by brushing and flossing more frequently.
Alzheimer’s Patients and Dental Hygiene
There have been links made to Alzheimer’s patients that state good dental hygiene is a must for keeping their disease at bay. Poor dental health has been proven to greatly increase the risk of cognitive delays; due to pain discomfort and lack of care. It’s important that caregivers be aware of this recent discovery, because while dental hygiene might not seem high on the priority list, it could make a big difference for the person suffering from the disease.
Now that we have discussed probable diseases that cause cavities it’s important to note that there are many symptoms to each disease. Before jumping the gun on thinking that you might have a more serious medical condition note the following:
- Always ask your dentist if you are unsure
- Note any and all possible symptoms
- Keep notes of any worsening problems
- Feeling of pain around gum or teeth
- Recent changes in diet or activity
The body is great at giving warning signs for changing or emerging issues you might be having. Don’t ignore something you might be able to prevent with bi-yearly visits to the dentist.