They say the smile is the window to the soul, but did you know that your mouth can give important clues about your body’s overall health? While most issues found from the mouth tend to be minor, others can be signs of more serious problems that need to be addressed right away. Here are a few places in the mouth that are sure signs of problems outside of oral health that can tell a lot about your body.
Teeth that are worn down can be a sign of teeth grinding. In most cases, patients that have been known to grind their teeth are teenagers and do so in their sleep. If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment and your teeth grinding becomes a problem, we may suggest wearing a special night guard to protect your teeth.
Thin tooth enamel can also tell a lot about a patient. Acid reflux and bulimia can both cause significant tooth damage due to regular contact with stomach acid over time.
Swollen or sensitive gums happen from time to time. When the problems become persistent is when you should have cause for concern. Early signs of diseases, like leukemia, lung disease, cardiovascular problems or diabetes, can come about in the form of frequently swollen or sensitive gums. Many patients have also been known to show these signs when they have a Vitamin C deficiency.
The tongue can be a little tricky when it comes to finding signs of serious health problems. Some conditions may appear to be harmful, like hairy black tongue (a buildup of dead skin cells on the tiny projections that contain taste buds) or geographic tongue (random-shaped, smooth red patches) but cause no harm in reality.
On the contrary, signs of serious conditions, like oral cancer, can be seen in the form of small red or white spots on the tongue. A sore on the tongue, cheek or elsewhere inside your mouth that doesn’t go away within an acceptable time frame should be evaluated as soon as possible.
Ask Questions, Get Answers
While not a physician, Dr. Amirpasha Farnaghi has years of dental experience and can still answer some of the most common questions about oral health and its effects on your overall health. Consider your everyday oral health routine. How does your mouth feel before, during and after? Don’t underestimate the little things as they could be signs of something more serious. If you or someone in your care experiences any of the above signs of serious health issues, contact our office or physician for an evaluation.