Did you know that your oral health tells us volumes about your overall health? While many are under the impression that oral health is isolated from that of the body, there are many connections between the two which must be understood for effective, conclusive healthcare. At Ashfield Dental Centre, we implement evidence-based practices to identify not only oral health complications, but any health conditions which may be causing such challenges.
Indicators of Diabetes
Firstly, oral health can indicate the presence of diseases, namely, diabetes. The pancreas of diabetic individuals is unable to produce the required amount of insulin for normal glucose digestion, which results in many health complications. This includes greater risks of gum and tooth problems due to reduced resistance to illness and infection. Periodontal disease, tooth decay, gum abscesses, mouth ulcers, low saliva levels, differences in taste and fungal infections are all oral health problems which are commonly associated with diabetes.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, infects the gum and bone that holds an individual’s teeth, causing the gums to bleed, release pus, or become swollen and red. Bad breath may also be a side-effect, as well as teeth separating, or jaw alignment shifting. Individuals with diabetes are at a greater risk of obtaining this condition due to blood vessel changes and higher glucose levels caused by diabetes; the gum is weakened and bacteria growth is facilitated. Tooth decay, low saliva levels, and gum abscesses are also caused by increased blood sugar levels and are hence symptoms of diabetes.
Another oral health concern that indicates diabetes is a metallic taste, which is caused by increased glucose levels in saliva. Mouth ulcers and fungal infections such as oral thrush, which creates sore red or white patches on the mouth’s skin, are also caused by these glucose levels, as well as low saliva levels and reduced infection resistance.
Often, the first signs of diabetes are in your mouth. If you are experiencing any of the above oral complications, please book an appointment with Ashfield Dental Centre for assessment, and we will help you navigate your next steps.
Oral Health and Other Conditions
While diabetes diagnosis is often prompted by oral health concerns, your oral health also gives insight into other overall health conditions.
Not only is gum disease an indicator of diabetes, but many other health challenges. Many studies show that inflammation of the gum causes the cardiovascular system to increase cholesterol and fat levels in the bloodstream. This has the potential to form plaques on artery walls, increasing risks of high blood pressure and heart disease. Gum disease is also associated with adverse reactions to COVID-19, and preliminary research infers a connection between gum disease and irritable bowel disease.
Severe bad breath, or halitosis, is a symptom of many health challenges, including: nose infections, tonsil stones, sinus conditions, metabolic disorders and some cancers.
Similarly, while mouth ulcers are themselves harmless, they may be symptoms of other health conditions, such as: HIV and AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, immune disorders, Behcet’s disease and celiac's disease.
Make the Most of our Dental Services
As you can see, there is a multitude of important information that can be gathered from your oral health. Through indicating potential health conditions, having your mouth regularly examined by a dental professional, benefits not only your oral health, but your overall health. Make sure you book in your regular six-monthly appointment at Ashfield Dental Centre, so we can look after you and your teeth. Have you noticed an irregularity with regard to your teeth or gum? Contact Ashfield Dental Centre today and let us work towards uncovering the causes, and giving you a brighter, healthier smile.