Biannual dental visits are not only an essential part of your oral health. In fact, visiting a dentist in Richardson regularly is a great way to stay on top of your overall health as well. A majority of systemic diseases have markers that start in the mouth, so your dentist can often catch disease before your general doctor, assuming you only visit a general doctor once a year.
By visiting a dentist twice a year, they can find the following five diseases before they can do significant damage without your knowledge.
There are many signs of osteoporosis your dentist can find by simply performing a basic preliminary exam and X-rays. They may also suspect it if you come into the office due to your denture not fitting properly.
The most common signs of osteoporosis include having bone loss in the jaw, bone loss around the teeth, tooth loss, and gum disease.
People with diabetes have irregular blood glucose levels, therefore making them more susceptible to infections in general. However, many of these infections can appear in the form of gum abscesses or fungal infections such as oral thrush. Patients may also experience a higher rate of gum disease, tooth decay, mouth ulcers, and taste disturbances than the average person.
CROHN’S DISEASE (IBS)
While cavities and gum disease can be caused by Crohn’s disease, the most common sign is chronic mouth sores. These are also known as aphthous ulcers, or canker sores, and they typically appear on the lower lip and gums. They can also form on the edges or base of the tongue and inside the cheeks.
While doctors don’t know the exact connection, it’s believed that the inflammation IBS causes could be a contributing factor.
According to studies from the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, people with dementia are more likely to have oral health issues. These issues can range from high amounts of dental plaque to multiple issues with oral soft tissue. There may also be gingival bleeding, periodontal pockets, and chronic dry mouth due to reduced salivary flow.
Stomatitis, a condition that causes painful swelling and sores inside the mouth, can also appear. Patients with dementia are far less likely to maintain basic self-care like brushing and flossing, which is why these symptoms may appear.
Since the condition affects the joints, issues with the temporomandibular joint (or TMJ) could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. This condition can also cause inflammation that damages the glands that secrete salivary fluids, leading to chronic dry mouth. Other symptoms include cavities, difficulty eating, tooth loss, and oral ulcers.
Have you had a dental visit recently? By scheduling an appointment with a Richardson dentist today, you can confirm your oral and overall health are A-Okay!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. David Nguyen earned his DDS degree from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. He offers preventive treatments and oral exams for all ages, ensuring that no underlying conditions are causing oral health issues patients may be experiencing. To learn more about overall health problems that could be affecting your mouth, contact him through his website.