In regards to the connection between oral and overall health, particularly in disease detection, those in the medical community agree—your dentist may know before you do. How? Your mouth gives dentists important clues about what’s going on in the rest of your body. In fact, more than 90% of systemic diseases manifest in the mouth including inflammation, ulcers, dry mouth, tooth and gum sensitivity, tooth erosion, red tongue, and even jaw pain. Even so, patients do not typically view dental checkups as seriously as a regular medical examination.
A dental checkup reveals information leading to the following diseases:
- Cancer (Leukemia, Pancreatic, and Oral Cancer)
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
In addition, professional dental cleanings remove plaque that causes the liver to produce high levels of protein, which then lead to inflammation. Dental x-rays provide critical information about bone loss, which can be used to diagnose osteoporosis. For a patient with bad breath and bleeding gums, these could indicate diabetes, while a sore jaw may indicate an oncoming heart attack.
What Can I Do?
For the most part, individuals see physicians when they are feeling ill. Yet, this same logic should not be used when determining if and when to see a dentist. Without question, regular dental checkups are invaluable to one’s oral and overall health. Important developments in a person’s oral health serve as a window to other medical conditions and concerns. Meanwhile, there are ways to improve your oral health that will naturally compliment your overall health:
- Brush twice per day with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Be sure that Vitamin A and Vitamin C are in your diet.
- Do not smoke.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Use prescribed medications as noted by your physician.
Do not ignore unusual symptoms such as bad breath, mouth sores, red gums, or a sore jaw. Call the dentist immediately!
At Dr. C Family Dentistry, we spend ample time helping patients realize the strong link between oral and overall health. Thus, when you come in for your regular dental checkup, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation of your oral health. There is power in being able to detect and prevent diseases at their earliest formation. Is it time for your dental checkup? Call us today.
Posted on behalf of Dr. C Family Dentistry