What Health Issues Can Your Dentist Detect?

Brunette woman wearing a red blouse wonders if her mouth indicates she has any health issues

A dentist can tell a lot about your overall health just by looking in your mouth. That’s because some health conditions can cause oral health issues, and poor oral health can contribute to and exacerbate existing medical conditions. Read on to learn more!

Diabetes

Diabetes puts the mouth at a higher risk of infection due to poor wound healing and increased sugar in the saliva. When bacteria feast upon sugar in the mouth, they produce enamel-dissolving acids that cause tooth decay and cavities. Moreover, the accumulation of plaque, combined with poor healing, contributes to infection, gum disease, and eventual tooth loss and bone loss. According to the American Diabetes Association, 30.3 million Americans (9.4% of the population) had diabetes as of 2015. Of those, an estimated 7.2 million are undiagnosed. The disease is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

Hyperthyroidism

An overactive thyroid is associated with an increased prevalence of tooth decay, gum disease, and osteoporosis of the jaw. The weakening of bone in the jaw causes loose teeth as the structures holding them in place become compromised.

Anemia

Anemia can be caused by any health condition that destroys red blood cells, with one of the most common being a nutritional iron-deficiency. Low red blood cells, which carry oxygen to tissues of the body, can contribute to gum disease. This is because the gums are deprived of the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy and infection-free.

Medications

Saliva plays a crucial role in washing away food particles, neutralizing damaging acid, and preventing tooth decay. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medicines and underlying medical conditions. Prime culprits include Sjögren’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, antihistamines to treat allergies, diuretics to treat high blood pressure, and antidepressants to treat anxiety. Additionally, chemotherapy medicines are notorious for causing bleeding, sores, and infections of the tongue and gum tissue. Medications for HIV/AIDS can do similar damage, while the virus itself increases the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and various oral lesions.

Consult with Our Expert Team!

If you notice any abnormal changes in your mouth, or if you have any dental-related questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call here at Dublin Corners Dental.

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