Have you ever been surprised by what your dentist discovered during one of your dental checkups? Maybe it was a cavity that hadn’t started hurting yet, or maybe a small crack you couldn’t see. But did you know that during your appointments, your dentist is looking for more than just oral health conditions? Studies suggest that over 90% of systemic, whole-body health conditions present symptoms inside the mouth that your dentist may notice before you do. Here are six health problems your dentist may be able to help you detect as early as possible.
Dry mouth, bleeding gums, and wiggly teeth are all warning signs of gum disease. Typically, this condition is brought on by poor oral hygiene. However, patients with diabetes are at a much higher risk of gum disease, so if you have these symptoms despite taking care of your mouth, your dentist may recommend getting a blood test from your primary care doctor.
2.) Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the 6th most common cancer in America. Unfortunately, like many other oral health issues, it can easily develop without you seeing or feeling it. Thankfully, your dentist screens for oral cancer during every dental checkup. Survival rates are over 80% when oral cancer is caught and treated in its early stages.
Patients with GERD (or acid reflux) regurgitate small amounts of stomach acid into their esophagus and mouth. While many patients recognize this problem by uncomfortable heartburn, they may not notice it if it occurs in their sleep. This acid is strong enough to dissolve tooth enamel and create small lesions near the back of the mouth, which are signs your dentist can detect relatively easily.
4.) Intense stress
Did you know that stress can weaken your teeth? Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stress can trigger bruxism, or teeth grinding. This can be difficult for patients to identify since it primarily takes place while they’re asleep. However, your dentist will be able to spot the tell-tale signs of wear and tear and may recommend a custom-made nightguard to address the problem.
Osteoporosis is a bone weakening disease that can be very difficult to identify because its lack of outwardly noticeable symptoms. Thankfully, early detection can be as simple as visiting your dentist twice a year! Dental X-rays, a normal part of routine checkups, can show if there’s an issue with the bone density in your jaw, which could indicate osteoporosis.
6.) Heart Disease
Swollen, red, and bleeding gums could be a warning sign of heart disease. These symptoms allude to gum disease, which numerous studies have linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular issues. The earlier this infection in the gums is detected, the easier it is to treat and reverse.
Twice a year dental checkups are important for more than just your pearly whites! Make sure to visit your dentist in The Woodlands regularly for the good of both your health and your smile.
About the Practice
Solomon Dental Group has been keeping the smiles of The Woodlands and the surrounding communities happy and healthy since 2003. Their talented team of dental professionals uses state-of-the-art technology to make every treatment as fast, accurate, comfortable, and effective as possible. They encourage all their patients to come in twice a year for regular checkups in order to spot and stop oral and overall health problems alike as early as possible. To learn more, they can be contacted via their website or at (281) 367-4007.