Consider this scenario – you’ve not visited a doctor for years. You have not even had a health check-up for months. You’re reasonably healthy, albeit with a niggling cough that’s been bothering you off and on. You’re living your life, exercising, working, partying till all of a sudden, a mouth pain which begins like a niggle gradually becomes worse as the days go. You first try ignoring the pain, then avoiding it by eating from a partial portion of your mouth. Finally, you can’t stand it at all and search for the doctor, a dentist who can take care of your immediate pain.
If you’ve got a neighborhood family dentist like Smile Station, you stop postponing your dental appointment and make a quick visit for a checkup. As your dentist examines the pain and its root, where its emerging from, there’s some surprising and startling health issues that pop up totally unexpected. If it wasn’t for this dental appointment, you’d be in the dark and waiting for the day when a severe health issue would blow up unexpectedly, landing you in the hospital, too late to manage or treat.
Research has shown that dental issues are closely related to many other systemic and lifestyle disorders. On the flipside, many health issues can also be found and identified during routine dental check-ups for simple symptoms like pain, caries and swelling in the mouth. Dental check-ups are the simplest things to go for, and if it daunts you then consider how beneficial it can be for your overall health. Below are some of the commonest ailments that can be picked up on routine dental examinations;
- DIABETES – Gum disease whose symptoms are bleeding gums, loose teeth and pain may be early signs of Type 1 & 2 diabetes. Add to this slow healing times and on closer examination, swollen gums and possible bone loss indicating something deeper, then it becomes imperative to check for increased sugar levels and correlate with associated symptoms.
- HEART DISEASE – Gum disease is a very common problem. Good oral hygiene can prevent it, but when left ignored, such disease can proliferate and enter the blood stream traveling to the heart. This contributes to coronary heart disease. Bacteria from the disease can also cause blood clots or arterial plaque interfering with blood flow. Treating gum disease in time can prevent a whole host of health problems, some so critical that it can even take life.
- ACID REFLUX – Stomach juices rising through the oesophagus into the mouth is a sign of gastric reflux, occurring mostly at night with you being unaware of it. This usually causes erosion of tooth enamel especially at the back of your mouth which a dentist can immediately pick up.
- DRY MOUTH – Most of us are unaware of dry mouth which could occur due to many different reasons. Certain medications, diabetes, age-related or even Parkinson’s cause reduced saliva flow. Lack of saliva means food is stuck to the teeth causing bacteria build-up and cavities. The dentist may spot dry mouth before you even notice it and suggest early intervention if needed.
- STRESS – Stressed lives tend to make many people grind their teeth. Known as bruxism, this is very common in adults often going unrecognised. The constant wear and tear causes the enamel to chip or get broken. The dentist can identify this and suggest ways to reduce stress and protect teeth.
- OSTEOPOROSIS – Many studies have shown high incidence of gum disease in women who suffer from osteoporosis. One reason could be the inflammation caused by periodontitis weakening bones of the body. If the dentist notices receding gums lines and loosening teeth, this could be an early warning sign for osteoporosis which should be looked at closely.
It is said that the state of the mouth indicates the health of a person. There are many such signs and symptoms which can be picked up on regular checkups with a dentist. If you haven’t been to one recently, drop in to our clinic at Bhartiya Mall, Lower Ground Floor today!