Many of us fail to recognize the connection between dental problems, lifestyle habits, and seemingly unrelated health conditions. However, our mouths tell a very revealing story. Many dental health issues point to far more than just poor brushing habits. Our mouths are often windows into the overall health of our bodies and our diets. In fact, seemingly common dental issues can sometimes indicate much more serious health issues that run the gamut from chronic health conditions like diabetes to excessive drinking.
Don’t think you’re fooling Dr. Spieler by flossing right before your dental visit–your gums will tell a different story. Our Oasis Dental team can often see the slice marks and other indentations created by the dental floss on infrequent flossers. When you floss consistently, your gums won’t be as sensitive, and will build resistance to slice marks.
Excessive Consumption of Soda
A diet heavy in soda wreaks havoc on your teeth. The heavy sugar and acid content softens teeth enamel, making them prone to chipping and cracking. Dr. Spieler can recognize the impact of carbonated beverages on your teeth based on the presence of soft weakened teeth.
Fortunately, Dr. Spieler can recognize seemingly common dental issues that actually point to more serious issues. Changes in the landscape of your mouth that include bleeding, colored patches, changes in the way your teeth fit together, swelling, and thickening may be strong indicators of oral cancer. The symptoms don’t stop there, however. Lumps, eroded areas on the lips and gums, as well as other parts of the mouth, can be symptoms as well. This is why Dr. Spieler always performs an oral cancer screening at every cleaning and examination.
Problems with Alcohol and Eating Disorders
Heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to increased tooth decay and cavities, because alcohol tends to dry the mouth out. A dry mouth is a mouth void from the cavity-fighting protection that saliva provides. Eating disorders leave tell-tell signs as well. Tooth erosion in specific areas can be a sign of an eating disorder, such as on the backs of the teeth.
Nail Biting and Thumb Sucking
Nail biting and thumb sucking are pretty easy to spot as well. Frequent nail biting can place stress on the teeth creating cracks and fissures. Prolonged thumb sucking has the ability to completely change your bite pattern, so ask Dr. Spieler if you need help beating this habit.
Sinus Infections and Vitamin Deficiencies
A sinus infection can sometimes masquerade as a throbbing toothache. You may call our Bala Cynwyd practice thinking that you need a root canal or some other extreme dental procedure, simply because the sinuses are located close to the roots of your upper teeth. Furthermore, various vitamin deficiencies can express themselves in a variety of different ways that may seem like oral health issues. Problems with frequent canker sores that heal slowly, bone infections, and gums that bleed very easily all may be oral health issues that are grounded in vitamin deficiencies.
Diabetes and Pregnancy
Signs of diabetes may be revealed by extreme changes in your gums. They may swell, become hyper-sensitive, or bleed frequently. These are signs that can easily be written off as common oral health issues, but they may be symptomatic of chronic health conditions like diabetes. Even pregnancy can leave clues in your mouth. When you’re pregnant, you secrete progesterone which can lead to an increase in bacteria which often results in gingivitis.
We may experience a wide variety of changes and reactions that we mistake for simple dental health issues. However, further inspection may reveal important information about your dietary choices and habits, or health conditions. To help stay ahead of your overall health needs, call today to make your next appointment with Dr. Spieler from Oasis Dental in Bala Cynwyd, PA.