Everyone knows that it is important to visit the dentist regularly for the health of your teeth. What everyone doesn't know is that, during regular checkups, your dentist can discover health problems in the rest of your body, including the three diseases discussed below. Keep reading to learn more.
Dentists can often detect Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes early. Those with diabetes, because they have a decreased ability to fight bacterial infections, are more susceptible to gum disease. When many dentists notice patients with frequent gum abscesses or swelling that doesn't respond to traditional treatment methods, they suspect diabetes is the culprit. Serious gum disease also makes it difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar. If your dentist suspects that you have diabetes, he or she will recommend you visit your doctor for testing. If you do in fact have diabetes and have a history of gum disease, it is recommended that you visit the dentist more frequently to help keep things in check.
2. Crohn's Disease
In 20 percent of patients with Crohn's disease, symptoms in the mouth present themselves before they show up elsewhere in the body. Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder; its other symptoms include cramps and diarrhea. In patients with Crohn's disease, the oral symptoms are swollen lips and small ulcers on the insides of the cheeks and lips. The sooner diseases like Crohn's are treated, the better you'll feel and be able to manage it.
3. Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD)
While GERD is often characterized by severe heartburn, some sufferers only experience it while sleeping and do not realize they are suffering from any illness. However, when stomach acid with a lower than normal pH regurgitates into the throat and mouth, it often erodes the enamel on the backs of the teeth and creates sores and lesions in the back of the mouth. Dentists will likely catch these sores before you do, and they can recommend you get the proper treatment to ease your heartburn and relieve the negative effects it has on your teeth.
When it comes to your health, you can never be too careful. Diseases like diabetes, Crohn's disease, and GERD are serious and debilitating when left untreated. Visiting a dentist (such as Barberio Frank DMD PC) regularly will not only improve the health and appearance of your teeth, but it will help keep your physical health in check as well. If it has been a while since you've seen your dentist, schedule an appointment today.