The human body is a magnificently designed network of working parts. Everything is connected, so what happens in your mouth can be an indicator of the health of the rest of your body. Regular visits to your dentist can possibly catch any health issues before they become serious problems. Read more to find out how all the working parts in your body connect.
What Can My Teeth Tell Me About My Overall Health?
Here are some examples of how all the pieces to the puzzle fit together.
- Diabetes – Diabetes can be detected by examining your gums and mouth. A few things to pay attention to are loose teeth, dry mouth, and receding, dry and bleeding gums. These can be possible warning signs of bigger issues.
- Infections – Your dentist can also detect infection by examining your mouth. Common signs are severe pain, swelling, redness around the infected area, raised temperature on the surface area, fevers, and tooth or wound drainage. Early detection can prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of your body, including the lungs or heart.
- Oral Cancer – The sixth most common type of cancer diagnosed in the U.S., oral cancer can be caught early by making regular visits to your dentist. Usually your examinations will include an oral cancer screening.
- HIV – There are certain symptoms that alert your dentist to consider the possibility of HIV infection. These are swollen salivary glands, lesions and viruses (including oral herpes simplex, herpes zoster, HPV, and oral candidiasis). Adults with HIV may have oral warts, lesions, white, red, purple, or brown spots on the tongue or in the mouth.
- Stress – High levels of stress can cause teeth grinding, which is called bruxism. If your dentist detects this, it may be suggested that you wear a nightguard.
- Poor Nutrition – Your food consumption plays a great role in your health. Eating disorders or poor nutrition leave signs in your mouth, like bleeding gums, dry mouth, and erosion on the insides of your teeth.
- Osteoporosis – Very common among post-menopausal women, osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones. Some possible indicators are loose teeth or a receding gum line.
The Power of Being Proactive
Every facet of your health can be greatly improved by being attentive and proactive. Making regular visits to your dentist is a major weapon in your arsenal against poor health. Furthermore, the avenues for prevention are wide open when you catch problems early, and the courses of action tend to be less drastic.
If you haven’t been consistent with your dental visits, it’s not the “end of the world.” Today is a great day to start a new trend.
About the Author
One of only 370+ dentists worldwide to be Accredited Member of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Nelson Y. Howard mentors and lectures to other dentists. He is a graduate of the UCLA School of Dentistry, and completed his General Practice Residency at the V.A. Medical Center in West Los Angeles, California. He practices at Nelson Y. Howard, DDS Dental Artistry and Aesthetic Enhancements. He can be contacted through his website to learn more about his services.