A routine oral exam at the dentist’s office can help indicate some potentially very serious medical issues.
If the eyes are the window into someone’s soul, you could argue the mouth is a window into someone’s overall health. Yes, there’s a reason why dentists conduct oral exams in conjunction with dental cleanings. Taking a look inside someone’s mouth can potentially identify medical issues that don’t have anything to do with the teeth or gums.
Medical Issues and Your Oral Health
Here’s a look at some health issues an oral exam can help diagnosis:
Anemia is a serious medical condition characterized by a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the body. While you might think that a blood test would be the best way to diagnose this, you can get a big clue from the mouth. If there’s swelling in the corners of the mouth, pale gum tissue or the presence of a fire-red tongue, it could be an indication of anemia.
Diabetes is often associated with a lack of sufficient saliva production. This can often translate to foul breath, dry mouth or more prevalent tooth decay.
Heart disease has not only been linked with periodontal disease, but jaw pain. Specifically, this pain may be caused due to insufficient levels of oxygen from the heart. Periodontal disease is often associated with swollen or bleeding gums.
Identifying kidney issues is most relevant to oral exams with children. For instance, if kids are behind in their tooth development, that could be a sign. Other signs can include foul breath, dry mouth and the presence of ulcers within the mouth.
Immune system issues
HIV is a very serious immune system condition, and it may be identified based on what a dentist sees inside someone’s mouth. Specifically, the likes of sores, infections and white spots on the tongue can indicate a serious medical issue.
When looking for signs of oral cancer, dentists are often on the watch for red or white tissue located in the back of the throat.
This intestinal issue may be evident by the presence of small bumps on someone’s gums. The bumps aren’t typically painful, which can make it difficult for a person to notice themselves.
Schedule A Dental Appointment
As you can see, while it’s important to visit the dentist at least once every six months for your teeth and gums, it can also be important for the sake of your entire body. Oral exams at these dental appointments can potentially help diagnose more severe medical issues.
For more information on the importance of an oral exam and what medical issues they can often help identify, contact Caven Dental today.