Your dentist in Rock Hill is invaluable to maintaining a healthy smile. While you might think they only look at your teeth and gums, they can also detect certain health issues. Believe it or not, here are 5 surprising medical conditions your dentist can spot during your routine dental visits.
1. Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel condition that can cause a wide range of symptoms, like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Generally, there are less than 200,000 cases per year. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware they have it until after undergoing medical testing. Your dentist might be able to detect it before you even realize you have symptoms. Chron’s disease can cause dime-sized ulcers in the mouth and swollen lips. Your dentist will rule out gum disease before recommending visiting your physician for further testing.
Many patients with diabetes have a wide range of oral health issues, like bleeding, receding, and dry gums. Patients can also experience dry mouth or loose teeth. Not to mention, diabetes increases the risk of gum disease. During a semi-annual examination, your dentist can see signs of diabetes and recommend a blood test from your primary care doctor’s office. If diabetes is confirmed, you’ll need to work closely with your Rock Hill dentist to preserve your oral health.
3. Oral Cancer
Although you might not hear much about it, oral cancer is the 6th most common type in the U.S. On average, 53,000 people are diagnosed with it annually. It’s believed as much as 80% of cases can be diagnosed by a dentist. Early detection is crucial to the long-term survival rate. Your dentist will look for signs of cancer at each preventive appointment.
If you don’t have enough red blood cells circulating throughout your body, you might be anemic; however, many people don’t find out there’s an issue until after having a blood test. Your dentist might be able to see the imbalance sooner while examining your smile. Your gums can appear a light shade of pink while your tongue can develop a smooth appearance.
Osteoporosis can produce almost no symptoms until after breaking a bone or a special density test. Your dentist might be able to save your bones before it’s too late. They can see indications of bone loss in your mouth before it becomes apparent in other areas of your body, like loose teeth.
Enjoy Optimal Wellness
With your oral and general health entwined, semi-annual dental appointments can help keep your mouth and body in tiptop condition. Your dentist will help invest in your wellbeing through a focus on prevention.
About Dr. Paul Coombs
Dr. Coombs has over 36 years of experience in the dental field. He earned his dental degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. He has completed advanced training at the Pankey Institute of Dentistry and other professional facilities. If it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, contact our office today for an appointment.