Dr. Schau and her team provide services that have the ability to do more than just protect our oral health. Dentists have the ability to gain a snapshot of our overall health just by taking inventory of our dental health. Swollen bleeding gums and foul breath can tell a story that reaches far beyond a cavity and gum disease. Often, symptoms like these have the ability to give a dentist a glimpse into other underlying health issues, some of which can be quite serious. In fact, there are a number of health issues that leave smoke signals that can masquerade as dental health issues.
Scant Flossing, Nail Biting, and Thumb Sucking
Don’t think you’re fooling your dentist by thoroughly flossing right before a dental examination. They will know what to look for. If you don’t floss regularly, your gums will appear damaged and bleed when you finally do. A dentist can even spot a nail-biter because the teeth may have cracks from the grinding and stress put on them as a result of this habit. A dentist can even spot a child who sucked his or her thumb as an older child. Their front teeth may protrude and the alignment of their jaw will often shift as well. fortunately, most of these conditions can be improved with the proper dental care. In fact, Dr. Schau at Saginaw dental in Saginaw, MI has experienced recognizing and treating many conditions that may result from these poor oral health practices.
Underlying Health Issues
Dentists are often able to recognize underlying health issues from symptoms like bad breath. They can pinpoint a variety of different health conditions based on fruity or fishy smell emitted from your breath. Sweet fruity breath may be a sign of diabetes, while fishy breath could be a sign of a liver or kidney failure. Foul breath can even be a sign of acid reflux. Even common oral health conditions like bleeding gums can signal imbalances in sugar symptomatic of diabetes and vitamin deficiencies. Signs of oral cancer will often be revealed in symptoms like bleeding from the mouth, colored patches in the mouth, and even changes in the way your teeth are positioned. However, oral cancer can also produce swellings and thickening, lumps and deteriorated areas in the mouth and on the teeth. Surprisingly, an aching tooth can be a sign of a sinus infection instead of an infected tooth or cavity.
Pregnancy and Poor Eating Habits
Gingivitis can be a sign of pregnancy. Pregnancy causes a woman to produce a hormone called progesterone which results in an increased growth of bacteria. However, most women don’t experience symptoms like this until later in the pregnancy. They may even develop pregnancy tumors in their gums but there are harmless and will resolve on their own after pregnancy. There are times when even poor eating habits can be spotted based on dental problems that may surface. A diet high in sugary drinks and sodas may be easy to spot based on brittle teeth that break and crack easily. Even drinking problems and eating disorders can be spotted by a dentist that pays close attention to the condition of your oral health. Someone with a drinking problem may have a problem with cavities because this habit reduces the amount of cavity-fighting saliva present in the mouth, leaving a person prone to more cavities. Eating disorders can wreak havoc on dental health as well. Sometimes a person with an eating disorder may show signs of erosion on the back of teeth that may result from acid reflux or the acid from vomit.
Your general health and oral health aren’t separate islands. They coexist together and may reveal symptoms of dental health issues as well as strong indicators of other underlying health issues. This is why it’s a good idea to see your dentist regularly and follow up when you experience changes in your dental health. The intervention of a dentist can improve your overall oral health as well as alert you to other health issues. Fortunately, many issues can be prevented or managed with proper dental care. Give Dr. Schau at Saginaw dental in Saginaw, MI a call to schedule your next dental appointment.