5 Oral Health Signs That Point To More Serious Health Problems

2013-12-01 | |
Last updated: 2013-12-01

For more than a hundred years, the health of our mouths has been steadily improving with more effective public health education and improvements in the field of dentistry. However, when it comes to our own health, our best defence against health problems is to remain aware of the sometimes subtle symptoms that can pop up. It is important to not ignore these seemingly minor health issues because they can be the first signs of more serious health problems affecting the rest of the body. Even if the symptoms do not ultimately point to more serious problems, early treatment at least help to protect the health of our mouths

Bad Breath As A Sign Of Various Serious Health Problems

Bad breath is known as halitosis in medical terminology. It usually results from bacteria present in the mouth. However, it can also be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem. Infections affecting breathing such as bronchitis and pneumonia are chief among them. Bad breath can also be a symptom of diabetes, in which case the patient should undergo blood tests to determine whether they have that condition. In extreme cases foul breath has also been linked to complications of the kidney and liver. As a result people who have hard to treat bad breath should undergo a full check up to narrow down the source of the problem.

For those with only minor bad breath looking to avoid the odor problems, a study undertaken by the University of British Columbia showed significant reduction in halitosis due to green tea.

Sores In The Mouth and Cancer

When someone notices a prickly sore in their mouth then it can be a cause for worry especially if it does not clear up quickly. While some people will get canker sores regularly, these are the type of sore that does heal within a few weeks. In other cases, sores in the mouth can be due to cancer. Fortunately, the simplest way to significantly reduce this risk is by avoiding tobacco products in any form. That is because the use of tobacco products is the leading cause of oral cancer. That said, any long lasting sore in the mouth is a good reason to seek medical attention.

Bleeding Gums Can Be A Sign Of A Number of Health Problems

The condition called gingivitis is the main cause of bleeding gums and can usually be reduced through frequest brushing and flossing. However, it is not the only cause. During pregnancy a woman may suffer from bleeding gums due to hormonal changes. Such bleeding makes it more likely for the patient to suffer from tooth infection. Bleeding disorders such as ITP or Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura are also frequent causes of bleeding gums. In this case, the patient’s body is not producing the right materials to create blood clots. Lastly, according to a study by the University of Bristol, bleeding gums have also been linked to heart diseases. With such a variety of problems associated with bleeding gums, a trip to the dentist is a good idea in this situation.

Glassy Looking Teeth Are A Sign Of Health Issues

Glassy looking or translucent teeth occur as a result of enamel loss on the surface of the teeth. This can occur due to one of many reasons. Acidic beverages is one contributing factor. Habitually grinding the teeth is another reason. More serious causes of translucent teeth include people suffering from an acid reflux disease or mental illness such as bulimia. The reason the teeth are affected in these situations is because the digestive juices including bile from the stomach enter the patient’s mouth and erode tooth enamel. Translucent teeth can also be a result of a genetic disorder that may need the expertise of a specialist. In any case, a dental visit is an important first step to toward getting appropriate treatment.

Loose Teeth Risk More Than A Toothless Smile

Teeth will become increasingly unsteady due to gum problems, causing them to feel loose. A Tufts University study also showed that soft drinks are associated with low bone density in older woman and this reduction in bone density can similarly result in loose teeth. Likewise, loose and weak teeth can be caused by osteoporosis, a disease that affects bone strength by also decreasing the patient’s bone density. People with osteoporosis generally have a higher risk of bone fractures that can lead to increased health risks and complications when bones do break. A regular visit to the dentist can help a patient diagnose this disease earlier reducing the effects that it can have on their health.

A person’s oral health is affected by many factors. It is important to recognize symptoms at an early stage to be able to reduce their effects. Only through regular checkups can a patient hope to achieve this. At the same time, personal efforts must be undertaken towards better oral health. Simply brushing twice a day can make a big difference and coupled with flossing causes the risk of oral health problems to be reduced significantly.

Lisa Taylor, the author of this post is an employee at Cosmetic Dentistry Perth, which specializes in laser teeth whitening. Photography and travelling to places are some of her favorite things to do.

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