Your body is one complete system, and problems in one part of that system can show throughout your body. That is why your dentist can see other health conditions that develop in your body, even if it has nothing to do with your teeth. An annual or bi-annual visit to your dentist may reveal health conditions that you don’t know that you have. Here are four other health conditions regular dental exams reveal.

health conditions revealed by dental exams

Dementia

Your dental health can show your dentist that you have or are developing dementia. This is shown through a rapid worsening of your dental health. Dementia can make it difficult for someone to brush their teeth regularly. So, your dentist can see that something drastic has changed if your next visit shows that your teeth are markedly worse without another obvious cause.

 

In some cases, researchers are looking for a link between the effects of bad oral health and dementia. The theory is that the bacteria that grows in your mouth gets out of control when your dental care habits worsen. The increase in bacteria lets it get into other parts of your body including your brain and cause inflammation. That inflammation can interfere with the memory centers of your brain causing dementia to set in.

Heart Disease

In a similar method, the bacteria in your mouth can cause inflammation in your heart and arteries. This can lead to heart disease and other serious conditions as it makes your heart swell in size and increases the stress on it. More than that, bacteria can also lead to an increase in plaque buildup in your arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or high blood pressure. Your dentist will see this happening if you have gum disease or weakening gums. This indicates an increase in bacteria that can travel through your body.

Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the easier conditions to find for your dentist. That is because gum disease is common in people with diabetes. One look at your gums and your dentist may be able to tell if your gum disease is serious enough to get tested for diabetes. Diabetes can also affect how your gums heal since people with diabetes tend to heal slower, so it is an important factor to know about going forward.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, or a weakening of your bones, is a serious condition to develop. It makes you more susceptible to injuries like broken bones and several diseases. Your dentist can tell you if you may be developing osteoporosis by looking at your jaw. Your teeth are generally not affected by osteoporosis. However, the other bones in your mouth like your jaw and the bones that support your teeth can be affected. So, a simple exam of these bones can tell your dentist that there may be another condition developing throughout your body.

 

While your dentist may be able to give you a warning about these diseases, you should have your doctor check for them regularly. Diabetes and heart disease are preventable with the proper care, and you can delay dementia by having better overall health. Regular screenings are your best chance of catching these diseases early and preventing them.

Ready to Get Started?

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.

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