Seven diseases your dentist can diagnose

You know you need to make your dental check-up appointment every six months. You have to get your teeth cleaned, and make sure there are no cavities or other problems in your mouth. But did you know that regular dental check-ups can literally save your life? There are a number of diseases that could prove to be life-threatening that a dentist may see before any other doctor. Here are some of the most common diseases that dentists often diagnose first: You know you need to make your dental check-up appointment every six months. You have to get your teeth cleaned, and make sure there are no cavities or other problems in your mouth. But did you know that regular dental check-ups can literally save your life? There are a number of diseases that could prove to be life-threatening that a dentist may see before any other doctor. Here are some of the most common diseases that dentists often diagnose first:

1. Oral cancer
Oral cancer is the sixth most-common cancer in America, with 30,000 new cases reported every year. Your dentist can catch signs of oral cancer in its earliest stages, when survival rates are the highest. Oral cancer shows up as white and red lesions, usually on the tongue or the floor of the mouth, In the beginning, the lesions are usually painless and tough for patients to spot themselves. But your dentist can spot them and make sure you get the help you need.

2. Diabetes
Bleeding, receding, dry gums, dry mouth, and loose teeth are all typical oral symptoms of diabetes which can also result from bad hygiene. However, if you take good care of your mouth and still have these symptoms despite taking good care of your mouth, your dentist may suspect diabetes and recommend a blood test at your primary care doctor’s office.

3. Anemia
If the lining of your mouth is very pale—a light shade of pink—dentists might suspect anemia, a condition that comes from the body not having enough red blood cells circulating.

4. GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease)
Stomach acid—with a pH that’s lower than vinegar—that regurgitates into the esophagus and mouth can dissolve tooth enamel and create lesions near the back of the mouth. This is how your dentist may be able to diagnose it before your doctor does. While many people with GERD recognize it by the uncomfortable heartburn symptoms, some patients only experience GERD while they sleep and may not know they have it.

5. Heart Disease
Inflamed gums and loose teeth can also be signs of heart disease. If you have gum disease, the bacteria can travel to your heart and cause heart disease.

6. Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis happens when bones become brittle and weak. Bones that support the teeth can become brittle when a patient has osteoporosis, so dentists are able to diagnose this disease.

7. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders lead to poor nutrition, which can lead to symptoms like bleeding gums, dry mouth, or tooth erosion. Erosion on the insides of the front teeth can be a sign of excessive vomiting that often comes with bulimia. In addition, stomach acid wears away tooth enamel.

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    from our offices in Somerset, NJ 08873

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