Many people don’t realize that your dentist can actually save your life.
Dental health is a vital part of your overall health. Dentists can see signs of your overall health and can often help patients catch serious illnesses. You know brushing your teeth and flossing are important to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. We talk about it a lot here on the All About Smiles blog because oral health is tied to so many things! So many, in fact, that a dentist can often catch or diagnose other health issues long before the patient themselves are aware. For example, poor oral health can be a symptom of diabetes, osteoporosis, different types of cancer, and heart disease.
At times, oral health issues can suggest bigger health issues are present. These can include ulcers, swollen or excessive gum problems, dry mouth, or bad breath. All can be an indicator of an underlying issue. Take, for instance, bone loss. If your X-rays show a decrease in bone density over time, that can be a sign that there is an underlying problem, perhaps osteoporosis. Seeing your dentist regularly makes it so diseases can be diagnosed easier—and earlier.
Dr. Golly recently saw a patient that came to her with some interesting dental symptoms including bleeding gums. She couldn’t definitely pinpoint the issue at hand but knew it was beyond a dental situation, so she recommended the patient see a medical doctor. Low and behold, the patient was diagnosed with scurvy. (Yes, scurvy!) Had the patient not gone to see Dr. Golly, the issue may have continued on without diagnosis. (Scurvy can cause a lot of issues, including dental problems. Untreated, patients can lose teeth!)
The moral of the story: See your dentist regularly! This is especially pertinent if you do not see a physician regularly, as a dentist can spot irregularities that need further follow up. Additionally, dentists don’t just look at your gums and teeth. They examine your face, neck, and jaw. They examine your lymph nodes and jaw joints. These regular examinations ensure you’re staying on top of your health.
Are you past due for a visit? Give us a call 503.472.9435! We’re here to help to ensure you’re at your best. At All About Smiles, we’re all about you and your health!