When it comes to dentists, you expect them to flag up common dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease or when you need braces or implants. However,many of us don’t realise that visiting the dentist regularly can help to detect other health issues.
Here are some conditions that your Swansea dentist can spot:
A study revealed that nearly two-thirds of dentists said they referred patients with periodontitis (inflammation around the gums) for a diabetes evaluation. Lots of people have diabetes and don’t know it, which makes visiting your dentist on a regular basis even more important.
So what’s the dental-diabetes link? High blood sugar may be as damaging to your oral health as the sweet stuff in a can of soda. That’s because the condition can cause a dry mouth, which increases plaque build-up, making people with uncontrolled diabetes more prone to dental problems.
Two common oral signs of diabetes aremultiple abscesses on the gums and bad breath.
According to studies,people with periodontal disease are more likely to develop heart disease than those with good oral health. Among people who have both diseases, if the periodontal disease is treated, the heart disease is greatly improved.
Your dentist can spot chronic inflammation, and if this happens they know that it’s creating systemic stress. Other signs that could raise alarm bells include; loose, shifting, or missing teeth, and increased probing depths, where the pockets around the teeth have deepened.
Research carried out in 2012 claimed that older adults with poor dental hygiene were 76 percent more likely to develop dementia. This is a new area of research, which means the link between the two isn’t entirely clear. However, a small discovered that Porphyromonasgingivalis, a bacteria associated with gum disease,can be found in the brains of people with dementia. Thus suggesting that it may play a role in the inflammation associated with cognitive decline.
Your dentist may be able to spot bone loss in the surrounding structures, like the jaw, with digital X-rays. Normal, healthy bone should be dense both at the edges and in the interior, and when that’s not the case, the patient is more likely to have osteoporosis.
If you haven’t booked a dentist appointment for a while, book your way to a healthier 2015 and your dentist could spot any health issues before they become more serious.