Did you know that our Grand Rapids dentist may be able to predict heart disease or diabetes during your next teeth cleaning?
Your oral health is connected to your overall health. That’s why dentists look for bleeding gums, loose teeth, and other signs of more serious health issues.
Let’s take a look at the types of conditions that may show warning signs in your teeth and gums.
1. Heart Disease
Many patients with heart disease are also diagnosed with gum disease (also known as periodontal disease). If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, you are at a higher risk for gum-borne bacteria entering your bloodstream and flowing to your heart.
If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, let our dentist know. Dr. Piotrowski will use this information to better monitor the condition of your teeth and gums. If you have coronary artery disease, the last thing you need is dental plaque traveling through your arteries.
People with diabetes are often vulnerable to infection, which is why they may have gum disease.
Gum disease is caused by untreated plaque buildup on your teeth and gums and can develop into the more serious periodontitis. While gingivitis can be reversed by adopting a healthy oral hygiene routine and heaving teeth professionally cleaned, periodontitis is a life-long condition.
If you have a family history of diabetes, you will want to let our dentist know so he can easily spot gum disease symptoms like:
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
As we get older, the bones in our body may weaken from a condition called . Osteoporosis causes your bones to get brittle, which is why many elderly people may break a bone after a slip and fall.
Our dentist can spot signs of osteoporosis in your smile, including loose teeth and receding gums caused by tissue loss.
4. Oral Cancer
The estimates more than 50,000 Americans will get oral or throat cancer by the end of the year. Thankfully, oral cancer screenings are designed to catch the disease in its early stages so you have the best chance of survival.
You are at a higher risk for getting mouth cancer if you have a history of using tobacco products or abusing alcohol, which is why it’s important that you fill out an accurate medical history for our dentist. During your routine dental exam, Dr. Piotrowski will perform an oral cancer screening and check the inside of your mouth for suspicious patches or lumps.
5. Eating Disorders
People struggling with eating disorders may hide their symptoms from family members and medical professionals. Unfortunately, this means they may not get the help they need.
During a dentist appointment, our dentist can catch signs of an eating disorder by the loss of tooth enamel on the insides of front teeth. A person with an eating disorder may also experience sensitive teeth, bleeding gums, and dry mouth.
If you recognize any of the above symptoms, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with our dentist or your primary care physician as soon as possible, or access the National Eating Disorder Hotline for support. This blog post is in no way a substitute for seeking professional medical treatment.
One of the early signs of dementia is poor oral hygiene, as patients often forget whether or not they’ve brushed their teeth. It turns out that poor dental hygiene may also increase your risk for dementia to begin with: scientists now think that the bacteria that causes gum disease may be able to travel to the brain and cause cognitive impairments in elderly patients.
7. Kidney Disease
When your kidneys aren’t working properly, the effects can be felt throughout the body. One of the symptoms of kidney disease is foul or sweet-smelling breath, sometimes accompanied by dry mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak with your doctor or our dentist about a possible diagnosis.
Protect Your Oral Health and Overall Health
Our Grand Rapids, MI, family dentist offers both holistic dentistry and preventive dentistry to protect patients’ oral health and overall health. Call Precision Family Dental today at (616) 949-1570, or contact us online to request an appointment.
This blog post has been updated.