5 Medical Conditions Your Dentist Can Predict

Grand Rapids Emergency Dentist

Did you know that your dentist might be able to catch the early warning signs of medical conditions during a dental exam? Gum disease, loose teeth, and inflamed gums can all be symptoms of a larger health problem. In this blog post, we will go over five medical problems that can be caught by an experienced preventative care dentist.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described in this blog post, we recommend speaking with your dentist or primary care physician. This blog post is in no way meant to substitute seeing a medical professional.

1. Diabetes

People who have diabetes often have a low resistance against infection. This means that it isn’t uncommon for patients with diabetes to have gum disease, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. If you have close family members with diabetes, you may want to start a conversation with your dentist. Your dentist should have this information in your patient file so they know to look for the early warning signs.

Inflammation is caused when dental bacteria and plaque are allowed to build up and get into your blood stream. Other symptoms that can predict diabetes include bleeding gums, bad breath, oral fungal infections, and loose teeth. In order to keep a healthy smile, you’ll need to schedule regular visits with an experienced Grand Rapids dentist.

2. Heart Disease

Did you know that inflamed gums and gum disease can be warning signs of heart disease? Periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease where gum-borne bacteria are able to enter the bloodstream and flow into your heart. If you already have coronary artery disease, your condition may be worsened by dental plaque traveling through your arteries. People with heart disease are also more likely to have loose teeth.

Any reputable dentist will have your medical history on file so they can look for the signs of heart disease in your teeth and gums. Keeping tabs on your oral health can keep your heart healthy and prevent further cardiovascular problems.

3. Oral Cancer

Symptoms of oral cancer include hard lumps or bleeding sores in the mouth. A bite that has shifted out of alignment may also be a sign of oral cancer. If you have any of these symptoms it’s best to start a conversation with a preventative dentist to be on the safe side. No one likes to think that they might have cancer. However, it’s important to bring up any new oral health issues to your dentist so that oral cancer or other conditions can be ruled out.

4. Osteoporosis

When we get older, it’s not uncommon for bones to weaken and become more susceptible to breakage. However, did you also know that osteoporosis can affect your oral health? Patients with osteoporosis tend to have loose teethand receding gum lines, often caused by tissue loss.

5. Eating Disorders

People who have eating disorders often keep their conditions secret from family members and medical professionals. Unfortunately, this also means that many patients don’t get the help they need for eating disorders.

People with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa aren’t able to get the nutrients they need to remain healthy, which can have serious implications for their oral health and overall health. A dentist should be able to catch the telltale sign of an eating disorder by the loss of tooth enamel on the insides of the front teeth. A person with an eating disorder may also experience sensitive teeth, bleeding gums, and dry mouth.

If you are interested in our preventative dentistry services, please feel free to call our Grand Rapids dental practice at (616) 363-5677. Dr. Samuel Spraggins DDS at River Valley Dental has dedicated his career to providing patients with the highest level of dental care.