When it comes to keeping our teeth and gums in good shape, it’s not just our dental health that’s on the line. Studies have shown that there are many connections between oral health and overall health and that people who don’t take the time to take care of their teeth could end up suffering from more serious health issues overall. While it might seem like your oral hygiene doesn’t have much to do with your physical help, the best dentists in Cary NC strongly disagree. They’ve seen firsthand how an unhealthy mouth and diseased gums can lead to painful surgeries and ongoing health problems. That’s why it’s so important to tap into preventative care by visiting your dentist frequently and keeping up with brushing and flossing. Before you decide to skip a night of dental care, here are a few signs of poor health that you can’t afford to ignore.
1. Mental Issues
Believe it or not, what you’re going through mentally can end up showing up on your teeth. While you might not think that mental health problems like dementia could have any correlation to oral health, it’s actually possible for dentists to note the early signs of a loss of function and memory just by taking a look at how you take care of your teeth. People who are suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s or even major depressive disorder have a habit of not taking the best care of themselves. This can be evident in weight gain, slurring of speech, and poor dental hygiene. While it’s not always possible for dentists to make an actual diagnosis, it’s important to keep up with cleanings in order to get a better picture of what might be going on with you mentally, especially if you’re a more mature adult.
2. Poor Heart Health
If you’ve had cardiovascular issues, it could show up in your mouth. If you’re dealing with seemingly minor issues like sensitive, irritated gums or loose teeth, this could be a clue that your heart health is suffering. The key, as with any major health concern, is catching it early. Keeping up with doctor’s appointments is part of the solution, but never underestimate how important it is to keep going back to the dentist to make sure your oral health isn’t getting out of control. Even if you’re totally healthy everywhere else, leaving your mouth unclean and uncared for could seriously compromise your cardiovascular health, and vice versa.
Sugar is a problem for almost everyone. With extra sugar being added even to household staples, it can be difficult to get a handle on just how much glucose intake you get on a daily basis. Apart from keeping a food diary, your biannual dental appointments can also help you get a sense of whether or not you’re eating a dangerous amount of sugar on a daily basis. If you’re suffering from diabetes already, there’s a chance you don’t even know it yet. A normal dental visit could end up helping you fight the early signs of diabetes before it gets too harmful. If you have a gum infection, see your dentist right away to get treatment and make sure you take the necessary steps to cutting down your sugar intake and receiving the right medical advice for your condition.
Your teeth are bones, so it’s no surprise that a scheduled cleaning could reveal some issues with your bone health in general. Osteoporosis is a condition that consists of weakened, compromised bones that generally aren’t receiving enough, or the right amount of, nutrients, including Vitamin C. An ordinary receding gumline could be a sign that you’re dealing with osteoporosis, as well as any signs of loose teeth. If you’re a woman undergoing menopause, you might be at a greater risk for this. Staying regular with dental appointments could help you get the right preventative care for this condition.
5. Anorexia and Bulimia
If you have an eating disorder, it’s going to show up at your next dental visit. When your body doesn’t get enough nutrients, your oral health is going to deteriorate along with the rest of your system. If you’re suffering from bulimia, another tell-tale sign will be the acidic traces of compulsive vomiting that show up on your teeth. When teeth are exposed to even the smallest traces of stomach acid, they could start to wear down prematurely. Even if you have acid reflux this can be a concern. For patients struggling with eating disorders, visiting the dentist could be a wise move toward preserving overall health.