When you go into the dentist every six months for your dental checkups, you are probably thinking that it’s about keeping your teeth healthy. While this is the number one priority of your dentist, the truth is that they are looking for all sorts of different things, and some of them affect your entire body. Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, so it only makes sense that your oral health and overall health are related. A dentist in Orange Park lists off some medical conditions that your dentist could discover during a regular checkup.
This condition is incredibly common all throughout the world. In fact, the World Health Organization reports that anemia affects about 1.62 billion people all the way across the glove. That is about 24% of the world’s population. If you aren’t personally struggling with anemia, then you probably know someone who is. This condition occurs when your body is not producing enough red blood cells. This can be detected by your dentist because some symptoms become visible in the mouth. Anemia can cause the lining of the mouth to appear pale and the tongue can lose its bumpy texture.
This condition affects many different areas in the body, including your mouth. Some of the oral symptoms that people with this disease may experience include swollen lips and dime-sized ulcers on the inside of the cheeks. These ulcers are typically white in color and have a red halo around them. If your dentist notices these symptoms and thinks that you might be suffering from Crohn’s Disease, they will likely recommend that you see your family physician in order to have your symptoms examined further.
Did you know that gum disease has a link to diabetes? Most of the time, gum disease is related to poor oral hygiene, but having diabetes can make it more likely that you develop it. High blood sugar can make it more difficult for your body to fight of infection, including those in the mouth. When you have an infection, this can also make it more difficult to keep your blood sugar under control. If your dentist notices that you have inflammation, gum recession, wiggly teeth, or bleeding of the gums, this could in part be the reason behind it.
Because this condition doesn’t have very many symptoms, many people don’t even notice that they have it until they find themselves with a broken bone or they take a bone density test. However, it is possible that your dentist could pick up on it. If you experience jawbone shrinkage, this could point to osteoporosis.
If you are dealing with painful, swollen, bleeding, or irritated gums, there is a chance that heart disease could also be an issue. Of course, if you have gingivitis, you shouldn’t panic yourself into believing that you are going to have a heart attack, but it is definitely something to be mindful of. Gum disease increases your risk of developing coronary artery disease and heart disease. This is what happens when bacteria from the mouth travel to the heart and form blood clots or build up plaque in the arteries.
Seeing your dentist for regular checkups is more important than you may think. In addition to keeping your smile in optimal shape, they may even save your life!
About the Author
After attending the SDM College of Dental Sciences in Karnataka, India, Dr. Natasha Patel entered the prestigious Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, FL where she earned her dental doctorate. She has many years of experience in all facets of general dentistry. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (904) 278-9011.