Nov
15

An Oral Exam Can Reveal Warning Signs of Important Health Problems

Do you know that your oral health is connected in a big way to your overall health?

As dentists, we can tell a lot about the status of your general health just by examining your mouth. This is because signs and symptoms of many health conditions can appear in the oral cavity. It’s just one more important reason to come visit us regularly for an examination and cleaning.

Here are a few examples:

Diabetes. Mouth ulcers, gum inflammation, tooth decay and even bad breath can point to diabetes or pre-diabetes. High blood sugar levels encourage bacteria growth and make it harder to fight bacteria in your mouth.

Greater risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease. Gum or periodontal disease results from bacteria and gum inflammation. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream and contribute to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which is an increased risk factor for stroke or heart attack.

Sleep apnea. Many who suffer from sleep apnea clench and grind their teeth in an effort to open the airway, so worn teeth may be a sign of this sleep disorder. Also, a disruption in sleeping pattern may cause the tongue to fall back in the mouth and the teeth put pressure on the tongue causing a pattern that we recognize as a scalloped tongue.

HPV or human papillomavirus. Mouth lesions can be an early sign of HPV, a virus that may cause certain types of cancer including oral cancer. We use a special instrument called a Velscope to perform oral cancer screenings during routine visits.

Do all you can to keep your whole mouth healthy with good oral habits:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Brush your tongue every day
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks
  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Schedule a dental cleaning and exam at least every 6 months

Please let us know as soon as possible if you have any problems with your teeth or gums.

Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.

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