Going to the dentist regularly to keep your teeth intact is probably the reason many of us go. But believe it or not, your dentist may be able to spot things that affect your overall health – just from looking at your mouth!
First, beyond taking care of your teeth and gums, your dentist can spot oral cancers that you likely can’t see on your tongue, or the back of your mouth.
If your dentist notices your gums are too pale, you might be anemic – that’s when you don’t have the red blood cells necessary to help circulate oxygen properly through the rest of your body.
Also, if you’ve been grinding your teeth, it can be a sign of stress, which can lead to high blood pressure and other health issues.
Gum disease and tooth loss can also be early signs of osteoporosis, and your dentist can compare older x-rays to see the bone density in your jaw.
Finally, a dry mouth, receding gums, or bleeding can be warning signs of diabetes.
Your dentist is not a replacement for your regular doctor, but they might spot something first.
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