Did you know that the health of your mouth reflects the health of your whole body?
We see a lot of mouths. The mouth can be a window into one’s overall health, and usually we can pretty accurately guess if our patients have or have had a health problem. Lung problems, allergies, heart conditions, and other ailments are common conditions that affect or are affected by oral health. In some cases, we can also help educate you about how changing your dental care routine can help improve your overall health.
Here are just a few examples:
Your teeth are stained
Lots of things cause teeth staining. But we can usually tell if someone is a long-time smoker, indulges in red wine every night, or if someone’s a heavy coffee-drinker. Some staining can also be from early childhood antibiotic use. Teeth whitening may be an option for for someone with stained teeth, and we may recommend some lifestyle changes to avoid staining in the future.
Lack of Saliva
Saliva is normal. Not having enough, or a dry mouth, is a sign that something’s off and it’s possible that a patient is on a medication such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, or antidepressants. This can also be a sign of cancer or severe allergies. If someone’s suffering from a dry mouth, we may be able to suggest a rinse, or medication change to address this. Saliva is important in the health of your teeth—so it is important to us!
There are a few reasons for gum disease, but it may be the result of diabetes. Patients with diabetes have a reduced resistance to infection—which puts your gums at risk. When we see patients with gum disease we may also look for signs of diabetes, and refer you to a medical doctor for follow up. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, let us know, because regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.
Mucosal lesions (mouth sores) may be a sign of HIV and AIDS, or oral cancer. These painful legions can have significant effect on teeth, and someone’s overall well-being. We can recommend treatment to minimize the incidences of these legions as while undergoing treatment. (If you know you have a known medical condition of any kind, please let our staff know so we can assure you the best care).
Jaw Bone Damage
While we’re doing exams, we don’t just look at your teeth, we are also monitoring the jaw and gums. Jaw bone damage could indicate that someone is suffering from osteoporosis and taking medications to treat it. Unfortunately, many medications treat one problem and exacerbate another. Medications for osteoporosis for example, have an adverse effect on oral health. If you are on any medication, please inform your dentist, so that we can monitor and treat for side effects.
Loss of Enamel on The Inside of Teeth
Enamel loss on the inside of the teeth can be a sign of bad health, bulimia, cancer treatment, or an especially bad case of morning sickness! If you have any medical condition that causes vomiting, your teeth will suffer without proper precautionary care. Mouth rinse can help protect teeth in these cases, and we can help minimize the negative effects on your teeth as you work with your doctor to find relief from the underlying condition.
Our teeth tell our story. We are happy to work with our patients regardless of what health crisis they may be facing, and no matter what their teeth have been through. We offer many options and treatment plans for restoration, treatment and preventative care, and we look forward to seeing you smile!