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5 Serious Medical Conditions Your Dentist May Catch Early

November 4, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — greenmountaindentistry @ 8:30 am
Woman with mouth open as a gloved hand brings a dental mirror to her lips

Did you know that your overall health is connected to your oral health? This is why dental professionals encourage patients to take proper care of their teeth and gums. Regular checkups with your dentist in South Burlington can help with the early diagnosis of several medical conditions that can impact your entire body. Keep reading to learn what medical issues you could be at risk of right now and why dental visits can be the key to their diagnosis.

Oral Cancer

Visiting your dentist regularly could result in catching oral cancer in its earliest stages, which can improve the survival rate. The sixth most common cancer in America, oral cancer manifests itself as white and red lesions that can appear on the tongue, the tissues in the back of the tongue, or on the floor of the mouth. The lesions are initially painless and can be easy to miss. If your lifestyle habits include smoking, heavy alcohol use, and exposure to HPV, your risk for oral cancer is higher than average. Don’t assume your dentist will perform oral cancer screenings; make sure to ask for one at every checkup.

Diabetes

Bleeding gums are not only connected to gum disease. Though receding gums, dry mouth, and loose teeth can be connected to poor dental hygiene, they could also be signs of diabetes. If your dentist thinks diabetes is the culprit, they will typically recommend that your primary healthcare physician perform a blood test to confirm.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can be difficult to diagnose because it has no symptoms, but it can be detected by your dentist. Bone loss in the mouth usually means you have bone loss in other areas of your body. So, a visit to the dental office could allow your dentist to catch this condition before it leads to serious issues.

Dementia

Poor oral hygiene, memory loss, and confusion can all be symptoms of the early stages of dementia. Someone with dementia may forget how to brush their teeth or why it’s an important step in their daily hygiene routine. A reduction in dental care can lead to eating difficulties, digestive problems, and infections. These conditions provide a key signal to dentists that a patient may have dementia. Catching it early provides time for an effective care plan to be put into place before health issues progress.

Heart Disease

Key warning signs of heart disease can include red, inflamed, and bleeding gums. Bacteria from gum disease can affect your heart, leading to blood clots or plaque buildup in your arteries. This can be catastrophic to your heart’s blood flow and put you at risk for coronary artery disease and heart disease. Regular dental cleanings can protect your smile and protect your heart.

Your dentist can find more than just cavities and gum disease. They may be the first to know you are suffering from these health issues, which can aid in early diagnosis and treatment from your primary healthcare physician. Visiting your dentist every six months helps keep your teeth clean and keep an eye out for these medical issues. When you protect your teeth, you protect your overall health.

About the Author

Drs. Tyler Aten and Nusi Brown are committed to providing each patient with comprehensive dental care in a warm, friendly environment. Their preventive dentistry practices and the early diagnosis of serious issues can protect your teeth and your general health. Green Mountain Dental is happy to provide you with top tier cosmetic and restorative dentistry as well. To learn more, visit the website or contact them at (802) 863-3950.

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