We all know that going to the dentist is important, but it’s possible that we don’t appreciate just how important it is. While regular dental checkups are crucial for healthy teeth and gums, they can also be the first step to preventing or treating numerous conditions. A trip to the dentist might even save your life. How?
Since your dentist will be closely examining your mouth, they will likely be the first person to observe oral symptoms of a health condition. Serious and possibly life-threatening conditions including diabetes, oral cancer, heart disease, acid reflux, osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis all have oral symptoms that you dentist may observe during a regular dental cleaning.
|Diabetes||Reduced saliva production, dry mouth, chronic bad breath|
|Oral cancer||Discoloration of the mouth or throat|
|Heart disease||Periodontal disease (gum disease) in patients with good oral hygiene|
|Acid reflux||Tooth erosion|
|Osteoporosis||Bone loss in the jaw and bone structures surrounding the teeth and mouth|
|Crohn’s disease||Small, painless bumps on the gums, near teeth|
|Rheumatoid arthritis||TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) including pain and limited jaw movement|
|Periodontal disease||Swelling or bleeding gums, bad breath and taste, bone loss, loose or drifting teeth, tooth sensitivity, formation of abscesses|
If your dentist observes any of these symptoms during an oral check-up or cleaning, he or she can alert you to the possibility and severity of the condition, and refer you to specialists or to your doctor for further examination and possible treatment. Oral symptoms, such as dry mouth in diabetic patients, may often be one of the first warning signs of a condition, and so the mouth is the first line of defense when it comes to early detection and treatment for these ailments.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve made it to the dentist, it might be a good time to schedule an appointment. At Creason, Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry we’re taking new patients, so make sure to call our office or schedule your appointment online.