It’s been said that the eyes are the windows to your soul.

At Smile Designers, we feel that your smile is a window to your physical health!

Strong teeth and healthy gums often reflect a healthy body overall. If you have decay, inflammation, or infection in your mouth, there could be something negative going on elsewhere in your body, too.

Regardless, it’s important to maintain your mouth as clean and healthy as possible. Sore gums or a painful tooth are signs that you need to seek dental care. If left unattended, these symptoms can worsen, creating unnecessary grief for you (or a loved one who’s experiencing dental issues).

Why Should You Seek Dental Care Sooner Rather Than Later?

Our dental office here in Longmont occasionally tends to patients who have put off dental work. While we understand that life gets busy and it’s sometimes hard to take time off for a dental clinic appointment, we also fully comprehend the necessity of getting the care you need. Gum disease left untreated can escalate into a condition that’s harder to combat, accompanied by symptoms that are more painful.

Similarly, a minor cavity that could have easily been taken care of via a small filling can grow into a bigger problem if left unattended. The issue could escalate, ultimately requiring a root canal, a tooth extraction, or a dental implant. We recommend that our patients call us soon after the onset of pain or discomfort, because we’d rather treat and correct small issues now instead of bigger ones later.

Early detection and treatment will save you money, usually requiring procedures that are shorter, less expensive, and easier to complete.

Read on to see how the health of your teeth and gums often reflects your overall health throughout the rest of your body.

Diabetes

There is some evidence that there are correlations between diabetes and dental issues. Here are ways that your teeth may indicate the possible presence of diabetes:

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Mouth lesions
  • Inability to taste certain foods
  • Mouth infections that take a long time to heal

Of course, it doesn’t automatically mean that you have (or your loved one has) diabetes just because these symptoms are present. However, check with your dentist or your doctor if you have any concerns.

If you have diabetes, be sure to let your dentist know. It’s important that your dental professional is aware about this condition, especially if you take insulin or any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal or natural supplements.

The good news is that effectively treating diabetes can lead to better dental health, and in addition, proper dental care can help to keep diabetes in check.

Acid Reflux

This condition can weaken teeth’s enamel, wearing it down prematurely. Thin enamel can lead to other problems, including tooth decay, cavities, and increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.

When the acids that are supposed to stay in your stomach are regurgitated, the lining of your esophagus can be affected, and so can your teeth, your gums, and other tissues in your mouth. As the protective enamel of your teeth wears down and tooth erosion takes place, the appearance of your teeth can change. Of even greater concern, bacteria can enter into your teeth (including the roots) more easily, creating an increased chance of infections and decay.

Enamel that’s been worn down by acid reflux conditions may present the following symptoms that you or your dentist may notice:

  • Tooth discoloration
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages
  • Tooth pain when consuming sweets
  • An increase in cavities
  • Painful abscesses

Properly treating acid reflux can minimize these symptoms. In addition, fluoride treatments and desensitizing toothpastes and mouthwashes can alleviate symptoms and possibly strengthen enamel.

Thyroid Issues

Certain dental conditions may point to the need for your doctor to check your thyroid. Your dentist may notice the following, and may recommend that your thyroid gland be checked:

  • An increase in cavities
  • The presence of gum disease
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Enlarged salivary glands
  • Thickening of the lips

Any one of these symptoms by itself probably does not indicate the presence of thyroid issues, but if several symptoms are noticed, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor about it.

Leukemia

According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, it’s important to let your dentist know if you have a cancer diagnosis. Share contact information between your dentist and your oncologist so that they may consult with each other, as needed.

It may be necessary to have major dental procedures done before you begin therapy for leukemia. Antibacterial rinses, or even simple solutions of water, salt, and baking soda, can be very helpful before and possibly during treatments.

What is the connection between leukemia and dental issues? Some of the signs your dentist may notice that could indicate the presence of leukemia include:

  • Gingival enlargement
  • Mouth lesions
  • An increase in mouth infections

If these symptoms are observed, your dentist may recommend that you check with your doctor or see a medical specialist, if nothing else, to rule out the presence of anything more serious.

Anemia

This condition presents itself when your red blood cell count is lower than it should be. With anemia, the cells and organs throughout your body may not be getting enough nourishment from oxygen. Dental complications may include the following:

  • The presence of gum disease
  • Advanced gum disease
  • Tongue inflammation
  • Pale mouth tissue

Often, treating anemia is a simple matter of increasing your iron intake. Iron-rich foods include tofu, lima beans, Swiss chard, oatmeal, cashews, and sunflowers.

Schedule Your Appointment With Our Dental Office

Keep your mouth and the rest of your body healthy! Oral health does contribute to your overall health and wellness. Schedule your next dental cleaning or checkup with Smile Designers of Longmont!