It is well known that getting regular dental examinations are a great way for maintaining healthy gums and teeth, though many people are not aware that a dental exam can help detect other issues with your health. Your dentist may find early warning signs of the following 5 health problems during your dental exam.
Having an issue with low bone density does not only affect obvious places like your spine, but it can affect your jawbone as well. It's possible for your dentist to detect early warning signs of osteoporosis through discovering jawbone related problems such as loose teeth. If you have dentures, early signs of osteoporosis can still be identified by having receding gums that have pulled away from the remaining teeth. This will cause dentures to feel loose when compared to their initial fit.
A dentist may notice bone density issues through x-rays as well.
Studies have shown that some oral health problems can show early signs of heart disease. This includes having increased levels of bacteria inside your mouth, a thick carotid artery, and early stages of gum disease. Having these problems puts you at an increased risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. Ignoring the oral problems can also lead to missing teeth and cavities.
Problems like receding gums and loose teeth often happen when you are older, but these signs can show up at a younger age when you have diabetes. If your general dentist notices a gum infection or dry mouth, it could be a sign that you have diabetes.
The condition where your gums bleed and swell up is known as gingivitis, and it can actually be a warning sign of having leukemia. While gingivitis can be caused by many different problems, be concerned if it comes with weight loss, fatigue, and nausea for no clear reason.
Leukemia can also be detected through blood tests done by your dentist.
Your dentist may notice erosion that is apparent on your upper rear molars. This is a sign that you are having acid reflux issues at night that you were not even aware of. Extreme cases of acid reflux issues can damage your esophagus, potentially leading to esophageal cancer.
If you needed another reason to have a dental examination every 6 months, possibly identifying these 5 health problems should be some extra motivation. Not only will the exam keep your gums and teeth healthy, but potentially lead to early diagnosis and treatment of a unknown health problem.