5 Medical Problems Your Teeth Can Predict Wyoming, MI

Your dentist may be able to detect early signs of diabetes, osteoporosis, and even heart disease by inspecting your teeth. Many people don’t realize that oral health is linked to overall health. One of the best ways to protect your health is to see your dentist every 6 months for a routine teeth cleaning and dental exam. Your primary physician should always be your first source of health information and this blog post is in no way meant to act as a substitute for them. If you are looking to learn more about how your dental health may be connected to your overall health though, keep reading. 

1. Diabetes 

People with diabetes have difficulty resisting infection, which often leads to gum disease.

Gum disease is caused by untreated plaque buildup. Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria on your teeth. Fortunately, early gum disease (gingivitis) can be reversed by practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning every 6 months

If left untreated, gingivitis will develop into a serious (and incurable) gum infection called periodontal disease

If you have a family history of diabetes, talk with your dentist about ways to avoid gum disease. Signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss. If you suspect you have gum disease, schedule an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible.

2. Heart Disease

Loose teeth can be a sign of many different health issues, including heart disease. 

While your children or grandchildren may be happy to place teeth under their pillows, losing a tooth as an adult may be cause for concern. If you lose a tooth, your first call should be to our office to schedule an appointment. 

Dentists can sometimes connect periodontal gum disease to heart disease by a bacteria that can pass through the bloodstream and into your heart. If you have coronary artery disease, gum-borne bacteria could agitate your condition.

Depending on the condition of your teeth, gums, and overall health, we may recommend dental implants, bridges, or partial dentures

The benefits of dental implants go beyond appearance. They have been known to support your jaw and can benefit your oral health, which helps your overall health. 

3. Osteoporosis

It’s not uncommon for people with osteoporosis to have loose teeth and receding gums

Bones often get brittle with age, but there are times when an increase in bone loss is a sign of something else, which is why it’s important to see your dentist every 6 months. We’re able to take x-rays of your teeth and jaw to monitor the health of your bone tissue. If something looks off, we’ll refer you to your doctor. 

4. Oral Cancer

Risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, abusing alcohol, human papillomavirus (HPV), and not using sun protection on the lips. 

According to the American Cancer Society, over 50,000 Americans will get oral or throat cancer in 2018.

If you notice white or red patches inside your mouth, schedule an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible for an oral cancer screening. Bleeding sores and hard lumps can also be signs you may have oral cancer. While there may be other factors to consider, it’s always best to be on the safe side.

5. Eating Disorders

The body tells a story. Even if a patient tries to hide an eating disorder, our dentist may be able to tell just by looking at their teeth. 

For example, a patient with bulimia nervosa may have less enamel on the insides of their front teeth from vomiting. Other symptoms of an eating disorder that can show up during a routine dental exam include dry mouth, sensitive teeth, and bleeding gums.

At River Ridge Dentistry, we never want patients to feel uncomfortable. Our goal as a family dentistry is to make you feel welcomed and cared for. If we notice any oral health problems, we will want to help your overall health.

Need to Visit the Dentist? 

Dr. Helmus DDS and his team are dedicated to helping patients maintain good oral health by providing preventive dentistry services. When you first become our patient, we’ll ask you to fill out your family medical history so that we can customize your dental care to specific needs. To schedule your appointment with our Wyoming dentist, contact us online or give River Ridge Dentistry a call at (616) 538-7320.