Sometimes dentists may spot health conditions in their patients before other doctors notice them. That's yet another reason why you should always make sure that you go in for general dentistry at least twice per year, getting a cleaning and a check-up even if you think you have a clean bill of dental health.
Of course, your dentist will be able to spot a cavity, and it may come as no surprise to you that the dentist can diagnose gum disease. However, there are other health conditions that your dentist may spot before your doctor does. Here are a few of the significant health problems or conditions that your dentist may notice first.
Your doctor might mention something about diabetes to you. How could he notice signs of this disease? Well, it may present itself in multiple ways. If you have diabetes that hasn't been managed, you may experience dry mouth, dry gums, receding gums, bleeding of the gums, and a variety of other issues.
Although someone who simply has bad dental hygiene may also suffer with these symptoms, your dentist may ask questions and talk to you about your overall health if you have a lot of oral health issues. If you are otherwise taking good care of your teeth but still experience these things, diabetes may be the cause.
If the dentist suspects diabetes, he may recommend that you contact your primary physician to have a blood test. If you do have diabetes, it's important to manage it well under the care of a physician to ensure that your oral health and your overall health improves.
It's true that oral cancer is a disease that must be taken seriously, and the earlier it's diagnosed, the better it is for the patient. It's good that dentists know to look for signs of oral cancer, and it may be spotted in its earlier stages.
- Some symptoms of oral cancer may include:
- Mouth or lip sores (the most common symptoms).
- Red or white lesions on the tongue, tonsils, gums, or lining of the mouth.
- Bleeding in the mouth.
- Chronic stinky breath.
Other signs, such as the fact that dentures no longer fit, may be signs of oral cancer or may simply point to another problem. Either way, it is good to get any signs checked out to be sure that you don't need to pursue further treatment.
Be sure to share your medical history and any special health considerations with your dentist prior to any kind of treatment, and you will empower your dentist to take the best care of your oral health and, in doing so, help you maintain your overall health.