Dentists as Literal Lifesavers

by maxtooth on November 3, 2011

Very few people know that the dentist can literally save lives.  Dentists are more than capable of assessing one’s overall health since to them, the mouth can tell what state of health the patient has.  The dentist can detect medical conditions that can potentially lead to major diseases such as osteoporosis, kidney disease and diabetes among others.

Here are some signs dentists can detect and what they can mean for the patient:

1. Inflamed gums and excessive cavities – These potential symptoms of heart disease can manifest in the mouth and this is validated by some studies that associate periodontal disease to heart problems.  So, when you visit the dentist, he/she can alert you to potential cardiovascular problems, which more often than not your dentist will be the first to know.

2. Ammonia smelling breath – A breath that smells like ammonia coupled with something like a metallic taste in the mouth are very good signs of kidney disease.  The dentist should alert you as soon as he/she detects this and advise you in doing the next important steps to address this problem.

3. Halitosis (bad breath) and bleeding gums – These manifestations can either be gum disease condition or type-2 diabetes.  The dentist can tell you what kind of condition you have, especially if the gums are the problem.  Whatever the case, when you suffer from these conditions it is always good to see a physician for diabetes testing.

4. Slowly healing mouth sores and bright red gums – Potential symptoms of leukemia.  Having a regular dental check-up can potentially save your life by early detection of these leukemia signs and it is a safe bet that the dentist will detect these signs.

5. Burning or acrid taste in your mouth – This may be the taste of stomach acid which means you may be suffering from acid reflux.  Another clue for acid reflux is the steady erosion of the tooth enamel.  Dentists often provide good dietary habits that prevent you from suffering acid reflux and/or can advise you to see a physician ASAP for this problem.

6. Rapid loss of teeth – With aging comes tooth loss but rapid loss of the teeth is a potential sign of osteoporosis. Early detection which your dentist can provide if you practice regular dental check-ups is important in the prevention of bone fractures.

7. Airway blockage – A possible sign of sleep apnea is when the tongue falls back and blocks the air passageway. This can be seen by the dentist while you are seated on the dental chair.

8. White spots on the gums – Patches or spots that are whitish in color can be signs of oral cancer.  If you are a regular visitor to your dentist, this symptom can be spotted very early in its development.  As with the other aforementioned symptoms, the dentist can truly be a lifesaver if you come in for regular dental check ups.

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