How Your Dentist May Help Identify Diseases Affecting Other Parts Of Your Body
Although dentists are trained to diagnose and control oral health issues, they can also spot ailments affecting other parts of the body. This is because health issues affecting other parts of the body sometimes affect or show up in the mouth. Here are three diseases your family dentist may spot even though they aren't primarily oral diseases:
Osteoporosis is a medical condition affecting the bones; it makes the bones lose their tissues and become brittle and fragile. Those who have the condition are susceptible to fractures due to their weakened bones, and their fractures don't heal fast either.
Osteoporosis can show up in the mouth in the form of loose teeth, missing teeth, and receding gum line. Such symptoms arise when the jawbone loses some of its tissues and their support for the teeth is reduced.
Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body's production and use of insulin is hampered. This is dangerous because insulin regulates the absorption of sugars in the blood, which means impaired insulin production or action raises blood sugar levels. High levels of blood sugar damage different parts of the body such as the kidneys, heart, and eyes.
Diabetes increases your risk of developing periodontal disease, and this happens in several ways. For example, diabetes causes the thickening of blood vessels, which reduces the vessels' ability to nourish the gum tissues with oxygen and nutrients. Undernourished gums are easily attacked by bacteria. Another factor for the increased risk of gum disease is the increased sugar levels, which is food for the bacteria that cause gum disease.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory disease affecting the digestive system. Symptoms and complications include fatigue, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, among others. Left untreated, the inflammations can spread to vital organs and become life threatening.
There is evidence that Crohn's disease can show up in your mouth as inflamed gums and mouth sores. The exact link hasn't been unearthed, but scientists speculate that the inflammatory triggers that cause inflammations on the digestive system also attack the oral tissues. It is also possible that Crohn's disease weakens a person's immunity and leaves them susceptible to bacterial attacks.
As you can see, going to your dentist regularly isn't just about safeguarding your oral health, an important issue on its own. Regular dental consultations can also help you identify other diseases that may be festering under the surface so that you can start treatment as soon as possible.