A smile can tell so much about a person. It can reveal if they are kind, if they enjoy taking care of themselves, and even potential health risks. But how can you tell what potential health dangers hide behind a smile? Well, World Oral Health Day is on Sunday, March 20th, 2022, so the experts at ExpressDentist.com are here with some educational information.
These are the top 5 health issues your teeth can reveal:
1. Eating disorders and tooth enamel
If an eating disorder involves vomiting, stomach acids wash over teeth and can dissolve the hard enamel covering. Changes in color, shape, translucency, or sensitivity may provide clues to an underlying problem that can lead to extensive decay and tooth loss over time.
2. Anemia and pale gums
Pale gums can be caused by anemia, commonly due to an iron deficiency. Some color variations exist between individuals, and we’re most concerned about swollen, ulcerative, or painful gums. But a follow-up with a physician can provide clear answers and peace of mind whenever changes appear that suggest underlying systemic causes.
3. Osteoporosis and tooth loss
The bone around your teeth provides the foundation that supports them. While it may be difficult to detect at home, dentists and hygienists may be the first to suspect a systemic change in bone density due to osteoporosis. Teeth that move more than average during an exam could provide an early clue to this progressive condition. We often recommend a bone density test with a physician in these cases.
4. Oral Thrush and HIV
We don’t expect to see oral thrush in patients with normal immunity unless they’re denture wearers. But as the virus weakens the immune system in HIV patients, they become more susceptible to thrush and other more severe infections. A general physical exam and blood tests can help provide answers.
5. Tooth Loss and kidney disease
Kidney disease can cause mouth sores, changes in taste, and dry mouth from xerostomia, a reduction in saliva production. When the mouth dries out, acidity increases, and the low pH may result in aggressive tooth decay and eventual tooth loss. Some research also shows that patients with gum disease have an increased risk of kidney disease, another two-way relationship between oral and systemic health.
NOTE: Again, credit goes to the experts at ExpressDentist.com for this helpful information.
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