The Mouth-Body Connection Part 2

Common Medical Conditions: How they can show in your mouth

Oklahoma Dental Care: Advice form Dr. Mead’s family dentist practice in Purcell.

In our last post we talked about how common medications can affect your mouth. But did you also know that common diseases may be detected first by your dentist? A well rounded dentist will be able to recognize some tell-tale signs that may indicate a disease elsewhere in your body.

Damage to the enamel of the back of the upper teeth
May be caused by gastro-intestinal problems. Acids from your stomach can attack the covering of your tooth material. Often seen in people who suffer from acid reflux, it could also be a serious warning sign, especially in a teen-ager who appears overly weight conscious. If you have reason to suspect bulimia seek counsel and professional advice. If you suffer from any other gastrointestinal disorder, a combination of medication, gentle diet and healthy attitudes may reduce your symptoms.

Stress, stress, and more stress,
May cause some people to grind their teeth, even subconsciously. A caring dental care provider will ask about more than your dental hygiene when he notices flat, worn surfaces on your molars. Not only causes clenching your teeth extra strain in your jaw, it will affect neck and head muscles, and easily contribute to stress-related headaches and migraines. Stress also raises stress hormone levels, which contain chemicals that affect your teeth adversely. Not to mention poor health habits, such as increased smoking, alcohol consumption and midnight snacks – all of which are likely to go without subsequent oral care. The best remedy in this case is to radically reduce the source of stress, and where that is not possible, to actively find a method of relaxation that helps you decompress.

White, pink, or red:
Gums will say a lot about your general well being. Gums that are pale can be an indication of anemia. Lack of red blood cells generally means you body does not get a sufficient supply of oxygen, as it is the function of the red blood cells to carry oxygen. While sometime a small action as taking iron supplements can eliminate the problem, please seek medical advice to exclude any serious medical condition. Healthy gums will look firm and pink, whereas red, swollen, or receded gums could indicate several diseases, the most common being lung, heart or diabetes related. Since diseased gums are also harder to keep clean, talk to your dentist about proper care before an infection sets in, and what looked to be the indicator of an underlying medical condition actually becomes its cause.

There are many other conditions that your dentist may be able to deduce from examining the inside of your mouth. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions.
Dr. Mead’s friendly dental team is there for you to help take care of your teeth, as well as the rest of your body.

Call us today to schedule a regular check-up: 405 527-6568

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