Routine dental exams check your teeth and mouth, but your dentist also checks for other health problems that could be contributing to bad oral health.
Your oral health says a lot about what’s going on in the rest of your body, so if you have problems with your teeth it could be a sign of some of these other health problems:
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can contribute to gum problems, including red and bleeding gums and even gum disease. If you suddenly start experiencing problems with your gums, it’s a good idea to have your blood pressure checked.
Additionally, certain medications that treat high blood pressure can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay because saliva helps eliminate bacteria on the teeth.
Kidney disease is another health problem that is known to contribute to poor gum health, which can turn into a vicious cycle. Kidney disease negatively impacts the gums and in turn, chronic gum infections can cause inflammation in the kidneys and the rest of the body.
Obesity is linked to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. It starts as gingivitis, but over time can become far more serious. Those who struggle with obesity should take extra care to monitor and maintain gum health to avoid periodontal disease.
Loose teeth in older adults is a sign of fragile and weakening bones. Dental x-rays can reveal a lack of density in the jaw which is a good indication of osteoporosis. Your dentist will refer you to a doctor if he suspects you might have osteoporosis.
Diabetes is another disease that causes periodontal disease. Keeping your blood sugar under control can really help protect your gums if you have diabetes. Patients with both diabetes and periodontal disease are often referred to periodontists for treatment and might even need gum surgery.
Some of the earliest signs of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are evident in your mouth. Thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth, can be an early sign of HIV. The virus can also cause herpes, mouth sores and gum disease. Although HIV itself isn’t curable, most of the oral symptoms are treatable with medication.
Anemia is the condition of having too few red blood cells in the blood. Anemic patients usually have pale gums that might be sore to touch. The treatment for anemia depends on the cause, but if your dentist suspects you might have anemia they will refer you to the appropriate doctor.
Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here
There are many health problems that can result in bad teeth. If you suspect that your oral health is suffering due to an underlying illness, you should seek professional help right away. The experts at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are experienced in treating a variety of oral health issues. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele, Utah. Call us today for your free consultation!