We all know that keeping your teeth healthy is important, but did you know that dental issues could be a sign of other health problems in the body? Your organs are all connected to each other and if something is wrong, then chances are it’ll have a negative effect on something else.
So, what dentists see in the mouth, can have a significant effect on other organ processes and systems in the body. The reverse is also true, things that are going on in the body can manifest in the mouth. Here are 3 common dental problems that could be signs of a bigger health issue.
Flat, Worn Teeth
Sign of Huge Amount of Stress
Grinding or crunching of teeth is a common sign of emotional and psychological stress. Many people do this and aren’t even aware of it because they’re sleeping when this happens. Signs of grinding are flat or shortened teeth.
Grinding may also be accompanied by a headache or aching of the jaw from the grinding. Sometimes, if the pain is really bad, then it could start at the mouth and jaw and travel from the neck to the upper back. In other words, stress is a pain in more ways than one.
Cracking or Crumbling Teeth
Sign of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Disintegrating teeth is a common sign of acid coming up from the stomach and eating them away. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic disorder caused by damage, or other causes, to the natural barrier between the stomach and the esophagus. When you have GERD, the stomach acid goes into the esophagus and up into the mouth, which then disintegrates the teeth making the enamel weak and thin and, possibly, almost translucent.
Sores That Won’t Go Away
Sign of Mouth Cancer
People tend to bite the inside of their mouths when they’re nervous and this is ok. These sores should clear up within a week or so, but if sores appear without injury and don’t go away then it should be cause for concern. When a mouth sore is white or red, rather than the normal pink, then it could be mouth cancer and should be seen by a dentist or doctor immediately.
Things to also look out for are suspicious oral ulcers that are raised with a white or red border. Bleeding and numbness are also signs of oral cancer, but many times it’s just the sore.
Your mouth is a great indicator of underlying problems that you may not be aware of. It’s best to go to the dentist at least twice a year to make sure that you’re as healthy as could be. Not just healthy in your mouth, but healthy all over your body.
Make sure that your dentist not only checks your teeth for abnormalities, but your entire mouth. Fixing a mouth issue or not, could be the difference between life and death. So, pay attention and beware of anything different in the mouth and take initiative for your health.
Dr. O’Donnell is a dentist in Centreville VA with experience helping patients achieve better oral health. Call for an appointment today!