Dental Care Can Detect & Prevent Medical Problems


There are many major medical problems that can be detected by your dental care professional, so make sure that routine dental care is on the schedule. Preventative dental services are important for more than just oral health.

Which Health Problems Can My Dentist Find

Diabetes – Your dentist will be able to tell if you have diabetes, because bleeding gums and loose teeth are a sign. Gum line infection that are slow to heal can also be caused by diabetes, as the disease makes it more difficult to fight infection.

Heart Problems – Oral health can provide warning signs of heart disease that your dentist may notice. People with periodontal disease (gum disease) often have risk factors for heart disease as well. The bacteria from gingivitis can get into the blood stream and affect heart health. White or lighter pink gums can signify that the blood is not making in to the blood vessels in the mouth properly if the heart is weak.

Osteoporosis – Weakening of the bone that supports teeth – particularly in post-menopausal women -may be early signs of osteoporosis that your dentist can detect before any other doctor. This may present as loosened teeth or receding gums.

Stress – Your dentist may be the first to see evidence that you grind your teeth in your sleep. You may not even know you’re doing it, but financial problems, family health problems, or a high stress job can cause you to grind and damage your teeth. That stress can cause more serious problems if it continues.

Oral Cancer – It may start as a tiny lump or a red spot. You may think it is nothing of concern, but your dentist will be able to detect cancer early on, if you get routine dental exams.

Dementia – If you are suddenly more forgetful than you once were and it is starting to affect your personal hygiene, the dentist will be the first to know. Your teeth will have extra tarter build-up and your gums may show signs of periodontal disease. If you always kept a pristine mouth, these may be signs that you are forgetting daily tasks like brushing and flossing.

Eating Disorders / Poor Nutrition – People with eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, hide their condition well, but a dentist may be the first to spot physical signs of and eating disorder or poor nutrition. Bad nutrition can cause bleeding gums and dry mouth. In patients with bulimia, the stomach acids from vomiting will eventually wear away at the enamel on your teeth.

Acid Reflux – Especially night-time reflux can sit on your teeth and the acid may cause rapid decay. Cavities may signify that your saliva is extra acidic, and treating the reflux could save you money in dental care and reduce the risk of esophageal cancer.

Have a Dentist Who Knows Your Mouth

Having a family dentist that you see regularly will ensure that a professional is familiar with the natural landscape of our mouth, and will easily detect recent changes so you can get help before a minor health occurrence becomes a major medical problem. Regular dental care is good for your teeth and gums, as well as your body, so if you need a dentist in the Cedar Rapids area, call Family SmileCare Center today.

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