Medical Problems that Your Dentist May be Able to Detect
Making sure to visit your regular dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and a checkup is a vital part of maintaining your oral health. However, your dentist is able to detect a lot more than just dental problems. He or she can also spot the signs and symptoms of non-dental medical problems during your routine oral exam. This is because many disorders and diseases can impact the health of your teeth, gums, and mouth.
Non-Dental Medical Problems Detected by Your Dentist
Below are a few of the medical issues your dentist may be able to detect:
Oral Cancer – During your regular dental checkup, your dentist will look for red or white lesions in the mouth. These lesions, among other things, may point to oral cancer. Your risk for oral cancer is increased if you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco products.
Diabetes – The dental symptoms that point to diabetes include tender, bleeding, or receding gum tissue, dry mouth, and loosening teeth. These symptoms could also be from gum disease, but it’s important that you get a blood glucose test to be sure.
Stress – The most common way stress presents in an oral exam is with signs of bruxism (the subconscious grinding or clenching of the teeth, often during sleep). These symptoms can include earaches or toothaches with no apparent cause, frequent headaches, jaw pain, or a clicking/popping noise when moving the jaw.
Malnutrition – If you suffer from an eating disorder or aren’t getting sufficient nutrition, your dentist may be able to tell. These symptoms can include bleeding gums, dry mouth, and erosion on the front teeth. Poor nutrition can also weaken the tooth enamel, making you more vulnerable to dental cavities and tooth decay.
In addition to being important to your oral health, making regular trips to your general dentist can also help catch symptoms of other medical conditions. Please make sure you visit your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and for a checkup. Here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, your oral health is very important to us.
Endodontic Specialists have three convenient locations in Colorado Springs North and Pueblo, Colorado.