Your teeth and gums can tell your dentist a lot about your overall health— they are a map, in a way. The condition of your gums, for example, can alert your dentist or hygienist to the possibility and increased likelihood of developing certain illnesses and diseases such as oral cancer pancreatic cancer, alzheimer’s disease, sleep apnea, migraine headaches, diabetes, obesity, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Common links between oral and overall health:
Those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease, as these conditions lower a person’s ability to fight bacterial infections. Since bacteria in the mouth causes many oral conditions such as gum disease, an inability to fight these infections can be a sign of potential diabetes. Other symptoms of diabetes found in the mouth include frequent abscesses, swelling, and major bone loss in a short amount of time. If your dentist sees signs that he or she believes indicates diabetes, he or she may suggest that you visit an endocrinologist or your primary care doctor.
Stress alone can cause a variety of health issues, and many of the symptoms begin in the mouth. A loss of tooth enamel is the major sign of stress that your dentist or hygienist can detect easily. This loss of enamel indicates that the patient is grinding their teeth in their sleep or throughout the day. Grinding can cause tooth sensitivity and can alert you to your stress before it causes bigger health issues such as chronic migraines— and it can all be detected and prevented bye your simple dentist checkup.
In recent studies, a link was found between periodontal disease and the occurrence of strokes in patients. A stroke is caused by an obstructed blood vessel carrying blood to the brain and can be life threatening. Your trip to the dentist is beneficial in regards to these conditions by providing blood pressure monitoring, complete individual and family health histories, and other services.
By monitoring your oral health levels, your dentist can create a baseline for your health and can alert you to any changes that may cause concern. It is the attention to small details that can potentially save a patient’s life, and it all starts with a steady understanding of the patient’s mouth. At Lynn Dental Care, we care for every aspect of your health and strive to help you be the healthiest you can be.