Next time you visit your dentist you may tell him more about yourself than you realize. Your dentist might learn a lot about your overall health simply by performing a routine dental exam. A client who has teeth that the enamel has worn down on might be stressed out and grinding their teeth during the night. Your teeth, gums and the tissues found in the mouth can share a lot about the state of your overall health. Sometimes the dentist might be the first health care professional who warns you of health conditions. Here are a few things your mouth might be saying about you.
It’s normal for the teeth to begin to disintegrate as part of the aging process. But sometimes disappearing enamel can be a sign of something else. If the dentist finds that your teeth are cracking or crumbling, he may inform you that it is a sign of GERD. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is also called acid reflux and is a condition where the acid rises from the stomach back into the esophagus. Over time, this acid can make its way to the mouth area and start to dissolve away layers from teeth. When you lose tooth enamel, it is permanent so early detection and proper treatment can help protect the teeth from rapidly decaying. A routine visit to the dentist can reveal signs of disappearing enamel due to acid reflux.
It is possible for the dentist to detect a serious disease like osteoporosis during a routine dental visit. When a person has a gum line that is receding, tooth loss, and dentures that just don’t fit right, their mouth may be sending out signals of the presence of early stages of osteoporosis. This is a serious disease that is commonly found in women over 50 and its most notable symptom or characteristic is the gradual thinning out of overall bone density. There are very few warning signs that accompany osteoporosis which makes it difficult to diagnose. But a dentist may observe some of the changes that occur in the bone structure in the mouth and teeth which can provide an early alert to the individual.
Many do not realize that the same plaque found building up on the teeth is exactly the same plaque that causes heart attacks or strokes. Some research has indicated that inflamed gums is one of the major contributing factors in the development of heart disease. They may seem to be disconnected, but actually, oral bacteria that is associated with plaque buildup can dislodge and then enter the bloodstream. When this occurs, it can lead to the formation of a blood clot and cause the arteries to thicken. This increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. If a client has heart problems, a routine examination of the gums can help detect gum disease which can be treated to keep the mouth and heart healthy.
Having sores in the mouth is not really too uncommon but they are usually short lived. A gum abscess can be more difficult to treat and get rid of. A patient who has gum abscesses frequently along with swelling, bone loss occurring over a short amount of time, and gum disease that doesn’t seem to respond to the normal treatment procedures may be showing signs of Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. A person with diabetes can have more difficulty fighting off bacterial infections including the ones in the mouth. Gum disease can also make it more difficult for a person to control their blood sugar when they have diabetes.
The earliest sign of oral cancer is usually a small white or red spot in the mouth. Most people do not even notice something like this as it can start as a very small spot that is not easily visible and there are no other symptoms associated with it. The small spot can appear on the gums, lips, cheek lining, tongue, or any other part of the mouth. It is routine for dentists, periodontist and dental hygienists to screen patients for oral cancer. Regular checkups increase the chances that this type of oral cancer can be diagnosed and treated early on reducing the impact and severity. If you have a sore in your mouth that doesn’t seem to heal, pain, numbness or a lump on your mouth region be sure to share that with your dentist on your next visit.