“The mouth is a mirror of health and disease in the body.” - U.S. Surgeon General
When most of us non-dental professionals think about our oral health, we tend to only focus on concerns like cavities, bad breath, tooth discoloration, crookedness (malocclusion), and bleeding gums. Our oral cavity is typically viewed as a completely separate entity from the rest of our body.
If we have bad breath, it’s because we haven’t been flossing and brushing enough. If we have a toothache, it’s because we have a cavity or need a root canal. If our teeth are crooked, it’s because of genetics. While there is truth between these connections of symptoms and conditions, it is also important to consider that the symptoms you are experiencing in your mouth aren’t always directly linked to something else in your mouth.
As dentists and hygienists at Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness, we know that the mouth is an excellent indicator of what’s going on in the rest of your body. Based on the alignment of your teeth, the condition of your gums, the coloration and texture of your tongue, and the smell of your breath, we can tell a lot about your current state of health. This information is then very useful so that you can act either curatively or preventatively to address the health concern depending on what we find.
Just by having a look around in your mouth, we can identify potential signs of certain types of cancer, anemia, kidney or liver failure, gastroesophageal reflux, lung abacuses, bronchitis, tonsil stones, a sinus infection, vitamin deficiencies, and widespread inflammation. As we have discussed at length before, inflammation, in particular, is at the root of most chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. When there is a lot of inflammation in your mouth, it is likely that there is a lot of inflammation in the rest of your body.
Several conditions such as diabetes, kidney and liver failure, bronchitis, and gastroesophageal reflux can be guessed based on the distinct smell of your breath!
At Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness we are firm believers in preventative healthcare, and it is through our oral assessments that we can help you help yourself in becoming your healthiest self. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to stay on top of your oral health and keep to your twice a year professional dental cleanings. We care about more than just your teeth. We care about you as a whole!