We know that dental exams are important for oral health, but dentists are often the first health professionals to spot other, potentially serious, health conditions as well. Here are a few of the health issues our Richmond Hill dentists might notice.
Dental Health & Your Overall Health
Dental care is essential for your overall well-being. Oftentimes, our dental professionals are the first people to spot an issue that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. If your Richmond Hill dentist notices something during a routine exam, they will let you know so you can schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Anemia occurs when someone’s blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells in it. This creates a situation where the person does not get enough oxygen due to their lack of red blood cells. A lack of oxygen is a big deal for many reasons. Anemia can cause a number of issues, including fatigue, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations. During a dental examination, your dentist will examine your gums.
Your gums should normally be a pinkish colour. If your dentist notices they are paler than they should be, it could be an indicator of anemia.
HIV & Other Immunosuppressing Conditions
HIV and other immunosuppressing conditions cause issues with the immune system in patients. People with weak immune systems are more likely to suffer from oral thrush, a fungal infection that healthy people typically have no issue fighting off. Thrush is more commonly seen in healthy patients with dentures, but otherwise, it can indicate a problem.
If someone is frequently purging due to an eating disorder they can cause damage to their teeth. Stomach acid is very damaging to tooth enamel, and regular vomiting can cause the enamel on your teeth to break down more easily.
Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to the weakening of bones. It’s typically seen in the wrist, hip, or other vulnerable areas. Another bone that osteoporosis can cause problems with is the jaw bone. If the jaw bone begins to take damage from osteoporosis it can cause teeth to become loose and potentially even fall out. Your dentist may be able to spot the development of this condition and recommend you see your doctor for further treatment.
Having kidney disease can cause issues with the amount of saliva in your mouth. A lack of saliva in the mouth has been linked with numerous issues such as increased bacterial growth, changes in the way that you taste, and even making your mouth acidic. This increase in bacteria combined with the other issues can lead to tooth damage if left untreated.