There is an age-old saying that goes, “The eyes are the windows to the soul”, which begs the question: is there a window to your body? There is, and it’s your mouth. A visit to your dentist can possibly enlighten you of other health problems that you might not be aware of. While oral problems, like tooth decay and even oral cancer, are the first things that dentists in Kirkland might look for during a check-up, your teeth and gums can also bear warning signs of your health condition.
Diabetes is one of the usual diseases with effects that can be seen in your mouth. Type 1 and 2 diabetes both decrease the gums’ ability to protect itself from bacterial infection. This disease can cause diabetics to be more susceptible to abscesses, an infection on the root of a tooth or between the gums. They can also suffer from openings on the tooth enamel that allow bacteria to infect the pulp or the center of the tooth. Dentists can easily determine whether a person has diabetes through their tooth, especially if the symptoms repeatedly show, because abscesses frequently happen to those who have a hard time maintaining their blood sugar.
Meanwhile, your mouth can also show signs of psychological conditions, from simple ones like anxiety to chronic ones like dementia. A dry mouth sometimes connotes that a patient is under medication, particularly on antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft, which can be the cause of tooth decay. Stress and anxiety, on the other hand, produce a stress hormone called cortisol, which, on high levels, can cause inflammation on the gums that can also cause decay and bone loss. Furthermore, a recent study has shown a link between poor oral hygiene and the likelihood of the development of dementia. It was discovered that bacteria usually associated with gum disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis, were found in the brains of dementia patients.
Heart problems can also be seen in your mouth, and according to a 2007 study, people who have periodontal diseases are more likely to develop heart diseases—and the more severe the tooth problems are, the bigger the risks of having heart ailments. Experts have been relating chronic inflammation on teeth to the likelihood of heart problems, but the risks for heart diseases, however, are reduced when these tooth problems are remedied.
Your oral health can greatly affect your body, and taking good care of your teeth is one step to achieving a healthy life. With your mouth becoming the window to your health, it’s imperative to regularly visit a trusted Kirkland dentist, like Dr. Louis K. Cheung, DDS, to help you spot these health problems before they get worse.
(Source: What Dentists Can Tell About Your Health Just By Looking In Your Mouth, Business Insider)