Dental care is important to the health of your teeth and gums. What you might not know is that your dentist may also spot signs of some non-dental medical problems in your mouth during a dental examination. Some conditions and diseases that exhibit signs without your mouth include infections, diabetes, HIV, oral cancer, osteoporosis, poor nutrition, and stress.
If the dentist spotted any troubling signs of infections in your mouth, he could prescribe some antibiotics to get rid of the problem. You might also experience oral infection after a particular dental procedure, trauma to mouth or some issues. Some of the signs of infections include redness, swelling, severe pain, fevers, surface that feels hot to touch, and drainage from the tooth or wound. Infections may spread to some parts of one’s body including the heart and lungs, so it is vital to treat it as soon as possible.
Some of the signs that could indicate a diagnosis of diabetes include dry mouth, loose teeth, and receding, bleeding, and dry gums. An inability to fight diseases effectively and poor immunity make it more challenging to the gum line infections and wounds to heal in diabetic patients. The bleeding gums do not always mean that you have diabetes. This issue may also come from gingivitis or some gum diseases. Nevertheless, such early warning signs could cause your dentist to encourage everyone to visit your primary care doctor for blood glucose check.
Oral cancer is basically the 6th most common cancer type diagnosed in the US with approximately thirty thousand new cases being reported yearly. Once you visit your dentist twice each year, he or she could look for signs of oral cancer. Majority of the cases appear as white and red lesions on the floor of your palate, tongue or mouth. The risk factors that boost the chances of this disease include smoking, heavy alcohol use, and exposure to HPV, which causes cervical cancer. Dentists can do oral cancer screening if there are present warning signs.
If you have a stressful week, day or month at work, your body might respond in ways that manifest in your mouth. A common manifestation of stress is bruxism or teeth grinding. You could grind your teeth when you are feeling stress, yet if extra pressure affects you on a subconscious level, the habit might happen only when you are asleep.
Several oral conditions might indicate that patients are suffering from HIV. Adults who have HIV exhibit signs including white, brown, purple or red spots in the mouth or on the tongue, oral warts, lesions, and some infections. Such symptoms do not necessarily mean that you have HIV, even if the dentist sports more of the said signs could recommend seeing your doctor for blood test. Anybody engaging in risky behaviors must be tested for HIV on a regular basis.
It’s especially common in many post-menopausal women, even if this bone weakening may happen to anyone. Your dentist could notice signs like receding gum line or loose teeth that can indicate the changes in the bone, which supports your teeth. When the dentist spots such signs, particularly in patients at high risk for osteoporosis, he will refer you back to your doctor for bone density test.
People who are suffering eating disorders or having poor nutrition show signs in their mouths. Majority of individuals who experience bulimia will do everything they could to hide it from others, yet it is difficult to hide this from your dentist. Dental professionals know what signs to look for.