Our patients are often surprised when we tell them the number of indicators for underlying conditions that can be found by looking in the mouth. As highly trained professionals, we are aware of many oral health signs that may be signaling another medical issue that needs to be addressed. Read on to learn about a few of these conditions and their oral health effects.
One oral health sign of unmanaged diabetes is a sweet smell on the breath that occurs when the body is burning fat instead of glucose for energy. Moreover, the risk of periodontal disease increases in patients with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, so if we see patients with chronic bleeding gums or gum problems, we may ask you about your family history of diabetes or whether you have been evaluated by your primary care physician for diabetes.
Anemia occurs when your red blood cell count is low or if they are improperly functioning. If we see discoloration of the gums or tongue, this could be a sign of anemia. There are many different kinds of anemia that require different treatment, but if you regularly experience feelings of fatigue or weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, headache, chest pain, an irregular heartbeats, pale or yellow skin, cold hands or feet, and a pounding or “whooshing” in your ears, consult with your primary care physician.
HIV is a virus that weakens the immune system and diminishes your ability to fight off infection. This can lead to oral yeast infections, thrush, and gum disease. You may also experience mouth dryness and an increased frequency of cold sores.
Cancer of the mouth, throat, and neck show up in ways we can easily identify in our oral cancer screening in the form of ulcers, lumps, and swollen glands. We’re always on the lookout for signs of cancer so you can receive treatment as soon as possible for an improved prognosis!
Osteoporosis is the depletion of bone density. Although both men and women can develop this disease, postmenopausal women are particularly prone to developing osteoporosis. We may see receding gums or weakened and loose teeth in a patient with osteoporosis.
Certain autoimmune disorders like Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis can reveal themselves in the mouth. Autoimmune diseases are commonly associated with issues like dry mouth, problems swallowing, and ulcers.
Your Health Is Our Priority!
Please let us know about any abnormal changes in your medical history. We care about your overall health and will let you know if we detect anything that needs your attention. Contact us today to schedule your next dental checkup.
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