Regular dental care is critical to the overall health of your gums and teeth. What you may not know is that your dentist can also spot signs of non-dental medical issues in your mouth during an exam.
Some of the diseases and conditions that exhibit signs within your mouth include the following.
Diabetes: Signs that can indicate a diagnosis of diabetes include loose teeth, dry mouth, and receding, dry, and bleeding gums. Poor immunity and an inability to fight disease effectively also make it much more challenging for wounds and gum line infections to heal in diabetic patients.
Infections: Signs of infection include severe pain, swelling, redness, a surface that feels hot to the touch, fevers, and drainage from the wound or tooth. Infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs and heart, so it’s critical to treat it right away.
Oral Cancer: Oral cancer is the sixth-most common type of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. Signs of this disease include red and white lesions on the floor of your mouth, palate or the tongue.
HIV: Children infected with HIV are often more prone to oral lesions and viruses. Adults with HIV might exhibit signs like oral warts, lesions, white, red, purple, or brown spots on the tongue or in the mouth, and other infections.
Stress: One of the most common physical signs of stress is a condition called bruxism, or the grinding of your teeth. You might grind your teeth when you’re feeling stressed, but if the extra pressure is affecting you on a subconscious level, the habit may only occur when you’re asleep.
Poor Nutrition: Most people who suffer from bulimia will do everything they can to hide it from others, but a dental professional knows what signs to look for, such as dry mouth, bleeding gums, and erosion on the insides of the front teeth.
Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is especially common in post-menopausal women, although this weakening of the bones can happen to just about anyone. Your dentist might notice signs like loose teeth or a receding gum line, which can indicate changes in the bone that supports your teeth.
Keeping up with regular dental care comes with a number of advantages. Your dentist can watch for changes in your mouth, some of which can indicate more serious problems. Don’t take any chances – call our office today to schedule an appointment!