Rumor has it that eyes are the windows to the soul, however in regards to health, teeth are a much better indicator. The oral health/general well being connection cannot be denied as scientific research has proven the relationship between dental care and the heart, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Teeth and the overall condition of a person's mouth can act as a crystal ball, providing valuable insight to the medical conditions.
A person's mouth encapsulates signals of what is going on in relation to their organs and general body processes, making it extremely important to include dental exams and checkups as part of an annual health regime. In between, 1-800-DENTIST encourages individuals to practice good behaviors of brushing and flossing daily and checking their chompers for warning signs. If any unusual conditions are spotted, a visit to a dentist may be in order.
A healthy looking mouth should be filled with teeth, void of any visible signs of cracking or breaking. While those conditions can easily be caused by physical trauma, if they occur without a blow to the head it could be an indicator of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is categorized as when "... stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach)," (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). The unnatural flow contains high levels of acid, which will cause tooth erosion.
Within the human body, tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances produced. While the compound is tough, it is not impermeable and powerful stomach acids can eat away at the protective coating. Overtime, the digestive fluids can make teeth look translucent, yellow (as dentin is exposed) and teeth can literally start to disintegrate resulting in cracks or broken teeth. A visit to the dentist can help lead to a proper diagnosis of GERD.
Individuals who spot a weakened tooth structure should see their dentist stat. Aside from looking unsightly, a cracked or a broken tooth can trigger the formation of an abscess. A dental abscess is a serious infection can result in tooth loss, throbbing pain or may even put a person on the brink of death.
Sometimes a human body can turn against itself and the immune system can attack its own body tissues. That type of behavior is known as an autoimmune disease and chronic dry mouth can be a symptom of two of them. Xerostomia, (AKA dry mouth) is when the flow of saliva is reduced "...and may lead to difficulty swallowing and speaking, chronic sore throat, hoarseness, frequent thirst, oral yeast infection or dried nasal passages," (1-800-DENTIST). Everyone experiences dry mouth on occasion, however if the condition endlessly lingers on, it could be an indicator of diabetes or Sjogren's Syndrome.
Diabetes is a disease that impacts how a body uses blood sugar (AKA glucose). Regardless of if a person has diabetes 1 or 2, the problem is that there is too much glucose moving through their blood streams. It is estimated that approximately 24 million individuals have the disease in the nation and dry mouth or a case of oral thrush are potential oral indicators of the predicament.
Approximately four million Americans (mostly women in their 40s) suffer with Sjogren's Syndrome. This illness is marked when white blood cells attack moisture-producing glands. The reasons why this occurs are unknown, but if left unchecked it can cause kidney, liver, nervous system and pancreatic issues. The most predominate symptoms are dry mouth and dry eyes.
While having an oral sore is nothing to panic about, if one lingers about for more than a few weeks, it may be a sign of oral cancer. Annually, 30,000 individuals are diagnosed with the condition and when left unchecked it can be fatal. Early detection can generate a recover rate of 80 to 90 percent and individuals who spot a festering white or red sore (as opposed to a healthy pink) should seek the professional counsel of a dentist just in case.
Fortunately, all the conditions are treatable and early diagnosis backed by dealing with the situation head on is essential to managing the disorders. A dentist is part of the medical team needed to combat the symptoms associated with the conditions and 1-800-DENTIST can help those in need find a qualified practitioner up to the task.