You might think you just go to the dentist for regular cleanings and the occasional filling. True, dentists are experts at caring for your teeth. But they’re also on the lookout for other indicators of health issues every time they look in your mouth. As it turns out, your mouth holds a lot of secrets about your overall health.
The Secrets in Your Gums
If you are brushing twice a day and flossing but your gums still hurt and bleed every time, you may have something serious going on with your overall health. Dentists can often notice these early signs of serious and life threatening conditions like diabetes and certain forms of cancer. The pain and bleeding may be related to an easy-to-fix dental issue, but if it’s not, your dentist may save your life with early detection.
What Your Teeth Tell Us
Acid erosion on the teeth may be one of the only signs in some patients with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a severe and chronic form of acid reflux. As dentists, we have great concern for acid damage to the teeth, but your esophagus is also highly susceptible to acid damage too. Long term exposure to acid can increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer.
A Little Tongue-N-Cheek
The color of your tongue or cheeks can be helpful to detect allergies and certain infections like thrush. Thrush is a condition that is common in nursing babies who have a limited immune system, but when found in an adult, it can indicate something is wrong with the immune system and should be checked by a medical doctor. The texture or “hairiness” of the tongue can also give your dentist insight that you may have vitamin deficiency or anemia.
That Uncomfortable Topic of Bad Breath
Bad breath, or halitosis, can occur when there are large amounts of bacteria present which secrete that stinky egg-smelling sulfur. Cavities and gum disease are caused by these pesky little bacteria. However, odors from our mouth that are not related to our teeth can indicate conditions in the sinus, GERD (chronic acid reflux), and even diabetes. If you brush and floss, but still find yourself reaching for gum, mints, and mouthwash to mask an odor, you should definitely ask your dentist to speak with your physician for a work-up to get to the root of the problem.
As you can see, making regular oral checkups a priority can help keep your whole body healthy. You can start by attending a free dental event by Light Dental Studios on Saturday, January 30, 2016 in Puyallup. See below for details!
This post is sponsored by Light Dental Studios.