When you go to your dental clinic in Torrance, you might think your dentist is only looking at your teeth. But typically, dentists look at all of the soft tissues in the mouth as they can identify a number of surprising conditions from diabetes to Crohn’s disease. So even if your dentist doesn’t find anything wrong with your teeth, he may find some other common disease.
Loose teeth, receding gums, dry mouth and bleeding gums are all typical symptoms associated with diabetes. Patients with diabetes are far more likely to suffer from gum disease. Of course, just because you have gum disease does not necessarily mean you also have diabetes as many of these symptoms can also be the result of bad oral hygiene. Your dentist won’t automatically assume you have diabetes unless there are other risk factors. But if your dentist does suspect you have diabetes, he will recommend you see a doctor and have the necessary blood tests.
Diabetes and oral health are closely linked. People who take better care of their teeth and gums have better sugar control.
GERD (Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease)
Stomach acid that regurgitates back into the mouth can dissolve tooth enamel and leave lesions in the back of the mouth. And while many people recognize GERD by the symptoms, including heartburn, some only experience GERD at night and have no idea why they are having trouble sleeping. In fact, some people mistake GERD symptoms for something else and ignore them completely.
If the lining of your mouth is very pale, your dentist might suspect you have anemia. Anemia is a condition in which your body does not have enough red blood cells in circulation. Your dentist might also notice that your tongue has lost its bumps and looks smooth.
With 30,000 new cases reported every year, oral cancer has become the sixth most common cancer in America. If you wish to catch this culprit in its earliest stages, regular dental visits are recommended. In fact, when caught early enough, survival rates are better than 80 percent. According to Delta Dental, oral cancer shows up as red and white lesions on the floor of the mouth, on the tongue and on the soft palate on the back of the tongue. In the early stages of the disease, these lesions are tough to see and are usually painless therefore likely to be missed by the patient.
Request that your dentist perform a cancer screening during your checkup, especially if you have risk factors like heavy drinking and tobacco use.
If you suffer periodontal disease at a young age and have good oral hygiene, it could be a sign of heart disease. Signs like red gums, swollen gums and gums that bleed could be a red flag that indicates cardiovascular disease. Ask your dentist about ways to treat your dental disease. Doing so just might keep you out of the hospital due to a stroke, heart disease or other health issues.
If you are concerned, set an appointment with your primary physician to access your risk of a heart attack.
According to experts. nearly 40 percent of women will develop gingivitis during their pregnancy. This is caused by increased progesterone, which just happened to facilitate the growth of bacteria. Now, this happens later in the pregnancy, so it is likely your dentist won’t be the one delivering the good news. But you never know.
People who have eating disorders have very distinct patterns of tooth wear that dentists can easily identify. Erosion on the tongue side of the front teeth may be a sign of an eating disorder.
Some patients make an appointment for a root canal because of a bad toothache. But in reality, what they suffer from is a sinus infection. You see, the roots of your top teeth are positioned in the same general area as your sinuses, this means both toothaches and sinus infections show the same symptoms in the same place.
Alcohol tends to dry the mouth out, which leads to cavities. Also, many alcoholics tend to have chipmunk red cheeks.
You might realize that you have had a really stressful week at work, but your mouth might indicate that it is more serious than you think. In stressful situations, many people grind their teeth. Yet, you might swear that you never grind your teeth. This is because in all likelihood, you are doing it at night and completely unaware of it. If this is the case, then you might want to look into getting a night guard.
Around 20 percent of patients who suffer Crohn’s disease or other bowel disorders develop lesions in their mouths. In fact, these lesions precede the cramps and other symptoms of the disease. If your dentist suspects a bowel disease, he will send you to your doctor.