How your Dentist Can Help Your Overall Health
Your mouth may be the window to your health. Many early signs and symptoms of diseases appear in your mouth before they appear in the rest of your body. When your dentist is performing your exam, they are looking not only for signs of oral disease, but for changes that may signal disease in other parts of your body. The mouth is a part of the body, after all and recognizing early signs may help us catch other problems earlier!
What is Your Dentist Looking for?
When your dentist is examining your mouth, they are looking for changes in color, texture, or appearance of your soft tissues, swelling, growths, or other conditions. All these things can be signs of illness in other parts of the body.
Increased bleeding of gums
Increased bleeding of the gums can be associated with diseases like Diabetes, Leukemia, and Anemia. It can also signal hormonal changes of early pregnancy!
Not only is acid erosion damaging to the teeth, it can be a sign of an eating disorder or Reflux disease. Your dentist will ask questions to rule out causes of erosion.
Pigmentation is normal in many cases, but in rare instances, it can be the sign of a disease (Addison’s disease) or of another underlying condition.
Your salivary flow is important to fight decay and for proper lubrication. Dry mouth (Xerostomia) can be caused by many common things, like medications. However, it can also be a sign of more serious underlying conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome and Reflux disease.
Ulcers and Tissue Changes
Many small ulcers that appear in the mouth are harmless and will heal on their own, but others can signal digestive diseases such as Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Your dentist will ask you about other symptoms to rule out digestive diseases.
Keep Regular Appointments
Your dentist is an expert in spotting changes in the mouth. You see your dentist every six months, making them one of your most frequently visited health care providers! Being able to recognize changes early is important to your overall health. If you haven’t already, make your next check-up appointment today!