Oral health and general health: signs from your mouth that can indicate disease
Dental check-ups are not only vital in terms of saving teeth, but they can help to save lives as well. The relationship between oral health and general health is so close that a visit to the dentist can help to detect certain systemic diseases.
Detecting these disorders starts with the identification of a series of specific oral signs and symptoms. Continue reading this blog if you are interested in finding out more about these.
The relation between oral health and body health:
The first thing we are going to explain is how body health and oral health are interrelated. First of all, we must remember that the mouth is connected to the digestive and respiratory tract. So, if mouth bacteria are not kept in check by a good oral hygiene routine, they can affect the rest of the organism. However, not all bacteria are bad, and you can find out all about commensal and pathogenic bacteria in our previous blog.
On the other hand, bacteria can even move into the bloodstream through bleeding gums, ulcers or mouth injuries, causing, for example, endocarditis, complications during pregnancy and childbirth, pneumonia and even cardiovascular diseases.
However, the disorder might also have the opposite effect. A systemic disease can alter your oral health. We will now describe the signs in your mouth that you should pay attention to.
Signs from your mouth that can warn you that you are suffering from a systemic disease:
- Halitosis or intense bad breath. Although bad breath is viewed as a very common disorder among the population at large, if that unpleasant smell from the mouth becomes bothersome and far more intense, this might be a sign that you a suffering from a hepatic, digestive or respiratory disease.
- Continued presence of sores. A poor diet can significantly lower defences and this can manifest itself through mouth sores. On the other hand, a lack of vitamins and minerals, certain immunological problems, hormonal changes or constant stress can also be the cause of continuous canker sores.
- Dry mouth. anaemia and a lack of group B vitamins can cause dryness and lead to cracks and pain on the tongue. Certain foods such as bananas, oranges, spinach or almonds can help to combat this condition as they are very rich in group B vitamins. If you do not see an improvement after consuming these foods, you will need to visit the doctor.
- Loss of the periodontal bone and loss of teeth. Weak bones are closely related to osteoporosis, which is a serious disease, and treatment for this disease can also cause damage to the jaw bones.
- Gum disease. There is a correlation between diabetes and more serious and frequent disorders of the gums. Some research shows that people with gum disease find it more difficult to control their blood sugar levels as oral and dental infections can affect glucose levels.
- Other conditions. Eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, certain types of cancer and disorders of the immune system can also affect the mouth.
How to act if you notice one of these signs?
If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is very important that you visit a dental clinic or see your GP. Even if you rule out the possible associated disorder, you should seek immediate treatment from a health professional if you notice any of these signs as they are sufficiently alarming.
When you go to the dentist you should let him or her know whether you are taking any kind of medicine or if you have noticed any changes in your general health. It is also important to tell the doctor if you are suffering from any illness or chronic disease, such as diabetes.
Finally, apart from seeking professional help, you should never forget to look after your oral health and to follow your oral hygiene routine.Back to Blog