Nobody is perfect, but many struggle with keeping up the image of the standard and sometimes oral hygiene is used to deflect attention from the truth. Those efforts may distract the average Jane or Joe, but a skilled dental care provider can easily determine the facts simply by providing a dental exam as dentists are versed in picking up on the subtle oral warning signs that can indicate dental problems linked to greater medical conditions.
When it comes to general health, a dentist can examine teeth, gums and the entire oral cavity and the system will allow a dentist to know your dirty little secrets. The mouth can act as an authentic crystal ball that can reveal the most intimate details of a patient ranging from undiagnosed diabetes, eating disorders and even drug addictions. That fact makes it important for individuals to face up to the fact that their relentless oral hygiene efforts may not be enough to treat the core issue of the dental problems.
By now everyone knows that America is suffering from an obesity epidemic and by watching the ever-expanding waistlines of friends, family and neighbors can easily see the problem for themselves. Unfortunately, since so many individuals are now considered overweight or obese, some mistakenly believe that carrying some extra pounds is the healthy norm. Nothing is further from the truth and a dental exam can be instrumental in diagnosing the onset of Type 2 diabetes in adults.
Individuals who have not stepped on the scale in years and have been living the average American lifestyle of too many processed foods and not enough exercise, may jokingly call themselves 'fit fat' to improve their spirits. However, that form of denial can only go so far, as obesity can cause a slew of dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Only a trained dental care provider knows exactly what oral cavity signs may indicate the onset of diabetes.
If during a dental exam a dentist notices signs such as chronic bad breath, thrush, dry mouth, burning mouth or tongue, excessive tooth decay and advanced gum disease they can view the symptoms as an indicator of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. That is possible as scientific research has indicated a link between an excess of oral bacteria and obesity. In one study conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation, saliva samples from 500 women (60 percent of who were clinically overweight) were analyzed and the findings showed that 98 percent of the overweight women had significantly higher levels of elenomonas noxia, a particular strain oral bacteria linked to dental plaque, the cause of the dental problems associated with diabetes.
Although the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index indicated that that 63.1 percent of the nation's adults were either overweight or obese in 2009, millions of other Americans are starving themselves to death and have developed multiple excuses and lies to explain their extreme weight loss and exaggeratedly-svelte figures. A trip to the dentist can reveal the dirty little secrets surrounding a person's struggle with an eating disorder.
Estimates suggest that 8 million Americans suffer from some type of eating disorder with the most common illnesses being anorexia nervosa (marked by a restrictive diet or complete lack of eating) and bulimia nervosa (indicated by partaking in regular binge and purge cycles). To the untrained eye a person may simply notice that an individual with an eating disorder may have lost their appetite or some extra weight, but once a dentist conducts an oral exam, they will be able to unearth the tell-tell signs that a patient may be suffering from a serious mental illness.
While each eating disorder and their symptoms are different they can be easily detected by a dental care expert. Anorexics tend to have symptoms such as osteoporosis or tooth loss as the self-starvation tactic deprives a body of nutrients causing brittle bones, connective oral tissue to weaken and teeth to fall out. Bulimics who purge their food may also suffer from those conditions because of malnutrition and can also have major tooth erosion and tooth discoloration as they constantly force acidic stomach bile over fragile teeth when they vomit up their meals.
Humans have ingested and smoked many odd things in order to achieve an altered state. Alcohol is a legal recreational drug, prescription medicines can easily be accessed and consumed and marijuana has gone mainstream. In moderation or under doctor supervision, drug use can pose little threats to dental health, but individuals abusing the relationship will not be able to hide their dirty little secret from the dentist.
Alcohol is highly acidic and can contribute to tooth erosion, dry mouth or oral cancer. Prescription medicines may ruin the natural balance of oral bacteria resulting in an excess of dental plaque that can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel, halitosis or dry mouth. Marijuana abuse has been linked to gum disease in habitual users. Harder drugs such as meth can lead to a myriad of dental woes including the dreaded "meth mouth" a oral condition marked by extreme dental wear and tear caused by dental neglect, teeth-grinding, dry mouth and excessive consumption of sugary sodas. A dentist can easily pinpoint the dental problems and choose what drug is associated with the oral conditions present.
Fortunately, a change in lifestyle choices can help individuals get back on track with their dental health and general well being. Those looking to take a step in the right direction need to stop their body destroying behaviors and concentrate their efforts on eating a healthy diet, incorporating exercise into their daily routine and visiting a dentist to ensure that oral conditions can be stabilized. Patients in need of finding a great dentist can call 1-800-DENTIST 24/7 to get the name of a dental provider close to home.