Tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral health issues are signs that your dentist must identify through a check up. Nevertheless, what you may don’t know is that your dentist can identify more than issues in your mouth.
Through a routine dental checkup, dentists can also spot in the mouth of the patient the signs of some overall health issues. The reason why this is possible is that there exists a link between your oral and general health that makes some health conditions to manifest through oral health issues.
By the health of your mouth, a dentist could determine if you’re being affected by a medical condition that’s also causing damages to your oral health.
5 Medical Conditions Linked to Oral Health
The signs of this disease can be spotted by a dentist as it can cause dry mouth, gum disease, chronic bad breath (halitosis) and difficulties in the healing process of sores or cuts in the mouth.
Periodontitis, the most advanced stage of gum disease, has a notable connection to diabetes. The periodontitis consists in an infection of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place, this infection causes the inflammation of the gums and can also lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.
People with diabetes are at risk for gum disease. Even though gum disease is commonly caused by poor oral hygiene habits, in this case, high blood sugar from diabetes can be the cause of the problem.
Diabetes patients must have a special oral care and keep his blood sugar levels controlled to avoid damages to oral health. Also, is a fact that keeping a good oral health and treating gum disease is important to maintain diabetes under control.
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones, therefore, your jawbone can be damaged by this disease as well. The loss of bone mass and density in your jawbone can be a sign of osteoporosis that your dentist could identify through X-rays.
There are numerous studies that show that there’s a link between heart disease and periodontal disease and that people with periodontitis are more likely to have a heart disease. If you keep good oral hygiene habits but show signs like red, swollen or bleeding gums your dentist could suspect cardiovascular risks. There are other signs needed to diagnose a heart disease, like extra weight or family history and only a cardiologist is able to give a proper diagnosis in this case, but a dentist could spot hints of this disease by the health of the gums.
The poor kidney function, due to kidney disease, can cause chronic bad breath (halitosis) as well as other oral health problems like periodontal disease and the resorption of the jawbone.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints. This disease can manifest causing oral health issues like jaw swelling and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). Some research also suggests that the tooth loss can indicate a risk of periodontal disease.