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6 Medical Conditions Your Dentist May Discover

January 5, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsaran @ 5:19 am
person at dental checkup speaking to dentist

During your regular dental checkups, your dentist and hygienist conduct vital teeth cleaning and perform a thorough examination to maintain your oral health. While many assume dentists solely concentrate on oral health, it’s essential to recognize that 90% of systemic health conditions manifest symptoms in the oral cavity. As a result, your dentist may detect medical conditions that impact different areas of your body. Let’s delve into six health conditions that dentists could identify during routine appointments.

#1: Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States, with approximately 54,010 American adults diagnosed each year. Alarmingly, it can start developing without any noticeable symptoms.

Fortunately, during your regular dental checkup, your dentist performs a comprehensive oral cancer screening, providing a crucial chance for early detection and treatment. When detected and treated promptly, the survival rate for this disease exceeds 80%.

#2: Diabetes

Gum disease often shows symptoms such as bleeding gums, dry mouth, and loose teeth. While poor oral hygiene is a typical cause, people with diabetes have a much higher risk of developing this condition. If you practice good oral hygiene but still experience these symptoms, your dentist may recommend a blood test. Your primary care physician can conduct this test to evaluate the likelihood of diabetes.

#3: Intense Stress

Consistent stress can weaken your immune system, raising the likelihood of ongoing gum inflammation and ultimately leading to gum disease. This continual harm to your gums can cause teeth to loosen, damage the underlying bone, and potentially lead to tooth loss.

Anxiety can also trigger bruxism, where individuals grind their teeth, often during sleep and without realizing it. Thankfully, your dentist can identify signs of teeth wear and may suggest a personalized nightguard to tackle this problem.

#4: GERD

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, involves the backflow of small amounts of stomach acid. Although some individuals may feel discomfort in the upper abdomen or heartburn, it can be difficult to detect when it occurs during sleep.

Stomach acid in the mouth can erode tooth enamel and cause small lesions in the back of the mouth. Your dentist is skilled at recognizing these indicators of acid reflux, enabling you to receive prompt treatment.

#5: Heart Disease

Swollen, red, or bleeding gums can signal gum disease, but they might also suggest heart disease. Harvard Medical School notes that individuals with gum disease have a two to three times higher risk of stroke, heart attack, or other cardiovascular issues. Early detection of gum disease not only makes treatment easier but also allows for potential reversal.

#6: Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, which weakens bones, often goes unnoticed due to its absence of external symptoms. However, dental X-rays can enable early detection.

Regular dental checkups twice a year are vital for maintaining both oral and overall health. By consistently seeing your dentist, you can keep your smile, and your entire body, in excellent shape.

About the Practice

At LIC Dental Associates, we are committed to providing outstanding and personalized care to our valued patients. Our philosophy revolves around teamwork, where we work closely with you to create tailored treatment plans that align with your unique needs and desires. In addition to addressing your dental concerns, our regular checkups also aim to detect early signs of significant medical issues, allowing for timely intervention and optimal health outcomes. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, contact LIC Dental Associates’ office at (718) 530-6539 or visit our website.

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