There is no question that your dentist in Ocala is your best friend when it comes to preventing, diagnosing, and treating issues that threaten your oral health. But did you know that problems in your mouth can actually point to other serious health conditions? The human body is full of fascinating connections; what happens in one area can have significant consequences for other areas. Therefore, when your dentist examines your mouth, they may be able to alert you to issues in your body that weren’t aware of, including:
Diabetes may go undiagnosed for many people because this condition doesn’t have a lot of overt systems at first. A dentist, however, may begin to suspect diabetes if you complain that your mouth is frequently dry, that might indicate that you have high blood sugar.
Another way that diabetes affects your mouth is through gum disease. If your dentist notices that you have tender or swollen gums or other periodontal (gum) problems that don’t respond to normal treatment, it’s possible that diabetes is a factor in your oral health issues. You might need to start visiting the dentist more often and see a physician who can help you manage your blood sugar levels.
Has life been a little crazy lately? Stress can take its toll on your oral health in the form of bruxism (teeth grinding). You might not even be aware of this issue, especially if the bruxism takes place mainly while you’re sleeping. Grinding your pearly whites together can wear away the enamel, increasing your risk of sensitivity and cavities. It can also make your jaw sore and contribute to the development of TMJ disorder.
If your dentist notices signs of bruxism, they’ll likely recommend that you start wearing a night guard to protect your teeth.
Tens of thousands of people get diagnosed with oral cancer every year, which is why it’s recommended that adults get screened for this disease annually. Your dentist is highly qualified to spot signs of cancer, which may include unusual sores, lumps, or swelling in your oral cavity. If there are any suspicions areas in your mouth, your dentist may recommend that you get a biopsy to determine if cancer is the cause.
Osteoporosis affects bones throughout the body, including the jaw. If X-rays reveal that the bones that are holding your teeth in place are weakening, you may need to visit your doctor to find out if osteoporosis could be the cause. If you do begin treatment for osteoporosis, there is a small chance that the medication could have a negative effect on your jawbone. Your dentist will keep an eye out for this issue as well.
Your dentist is more than just the person who keeps your teeth looking and feeling amazing. They might also be the person who helps you take charge of your overall health.
About the Dentist
Dr. Daniel Weldon is your expert dentist in Ocala. He is passionate about both his patients’ oral health and their overall health. If it’s time for your next dental checkup, please contact our office at 352-622-3236.