5 Health Issues Your Dentist Can Detect

Preventive Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

It’s a good idea to visit the dentist regularly to check for oral health issues, but did you know that these visits may also detect heart disease or diabetes? Your oral health is connected to your overall wellbeing, and sometimes a symptom in the mouth can be a sign of illness elsewhere in the body.

Here are 5 medical conditions our dentist may be able to spot from your routine dental exam.

1. Cardiovascular Disease

Many patients with heart disease are also diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you are at higher risk for gum-borne bacteria being able to enter the bloodstream and flow into your heart.

If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, you’ll want to let Dr. Suk Jun Yun know so he can better monitor the condition of your teeth and gums. If you have coronary artery disease, the last thing you need is dental plaque traveling through your arteries.

The best way to remove dental plaque is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. You should also see our dentist at least every 6 months for your routine teeth cleaning. While there’s a lot you can do at home to protect your oral health, only a dental professional will be able to remove plaque that’s hardened into tartar.

2. Diabetes

People with diabetes are often vulnerable to infection, which is why they may have gum disease. Gum disease is caused by untreated plaque buildup on your teeth and gums and can develop into the more serious periodontal disease. While gingivitis can be reversed by practicing good oral hygiene and having teeth professionally cleaned, periodontitis is a life-long condition.

If you have a family history of diabetes, you’ll want to let Dr. Suk Jun Yun know so he can easily spot gum disease symptoms like bleeding gums, receding gums, swollen gums, bad breath, and tooth loss.

Learn More: 5 Ways You Can Prevent Gum Disease >>

3. Osteoporosis

As we get older, the bones in our body may weaken from what is called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to get brittle, which is why many elderly people may break a bone after a slip and fall. Dr. Suk Jun Yun may be able to spot the signs of osteoporosis in your smile, which includes loose teeth and receding gums caused by tissue loss.

4. Oral Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimates over 50,000 Americans will get oral or throat cancer by the end of the year. Thankfully, oral cancer screenings are designed to detect oral cancer in its early stages so you have the best chance of survival.

You are at higher risk for getting mouth cancer if you have a history of using tobacco products or abusing alcohol, which is why it’s important you fill out an accurate medical history for us. During your routine dental exam, Dr. Suk Jun Yun will be able to do an oral cancer screening and check the inside of your mouth for suspicious patches or lumps.

To learn more, check out our blog post on how to lower your risk of getting oral cancer.

5. Some Eating Disorders

While people with eating disorders are obviously aware of their actions, they may hide their symptoms from family members and medical professionals. Unfortunately, this means that many people with eating disorders don’t get the help they need.

During your routine visit, a dentist may be able to catch the signs of an eating disorder by the loss of enamel on the insides of your front teeth. A person with an eating disorder may also experience sensitive teeth, bleeding gums, and dry mouth.

If you recognize any of the above symptoms, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Suk Jun Yun or your primary care physician as soon as possible. This blog post is in no way meant to take the place of seeing a medical professional.

Request an Appointment With Dr. Yun

Our family dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, offers preventive dental services to keep oral health issues at bay. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Suk Jun Yun, contact the NorthPointe Family Dental & Implant Center at northpointefamilydental@gmail.com.

This blog post has been updated.