Many oral symptoms, such as tooth decay and gum bleeding can sometimes signal a major problem. Of course, your bad breath may remind you of the onion you ate for lunch. But that’s not all the information that your mouth can tell you. Problems with the teeth, gums, and tongue can indicate health problems deep down in the body. Here are four things your mouth can tell you about your health.
1. Teeth “wear out” may mean gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Heartburn is a common nuisance that can happen to many of us. But if you feel it more often then two times a week during a month, it may be the symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is the condition when stomach acids leak into the esophagus. But heartburn is not considered the main symptom. Many people still don’t feel anything, despite the fact that they have GERD.
If the stomach acid gets into the mouth, it starts to thin your tooth enamel. Erosion usually appears on the tongue side of the teeth. You may even not notice this process because it may be quite slow. But the dentist would see the changes if you visit them regularly. If you have GERD, it can be treated with antacids, prescription medications, and lifestyle changes. Giving up certain meals and eating smaller and more frequent servings can also be helpful.
2. White spots on the tongue may mean oral thrush
White spots may be an indication of oral thrush, an infection caused by excessive growth of Candida yeast. This isn’t a very common disease, but people with a weakened immune system, dry mouth or diabetes have bigger chances to get it. Difficulty swallowing, redness, and cracks in the corners of the mouth are other symptoms of the thrush. If you have been diagnosed with thrush, your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medicine.
3. Bleeding gums when brushing teeth may mean gingivitis
If you don’t brush your teeth at all or brush them too hard, blood in the sink may indicate gum tissue inflammation caused by plaque formation along the gum line. Without proper treatment, gingivitis can cause such a dangerous disease like periodontitis. It is a condition when the gums shrink from the teeth and form dental pockets that become infected. And this may indicate problems outside your mouth. People with periodontitis are more prone to heart disease, although it is still unknown whether dental care can protect your heart.
In the case of severe gingivitis, it’s better not to neglect it and make an appointment with your dentist’s office. Only a dentist can decide if you need a gingivectomy procedure or some home treatment. Make sure that you use a proper toothbrush, it shouldn’t be very stiff. Remember to floss gently between your teeth, don’t saw it back and forth until it scratches your gums.
4. Sudden onset of large amounts of caries can mean diabetes
Let’s say you spent most of your life without getting tooth caries often. Then at your usual annual examination, your dentist announces that you have five at once. If you are not addicted to soda water or don’t take some new meds, caries may be a sign that your body has problems with glucose processing. When this happens, sugar can accumulate in saliva and stimulate the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
You can also feel tooth pain, especially after eating something sweet, hot or cold. But diabetes don’t only manifest carries. Oral thrush, gum diseases, and dry mouth are the other symptoms of this disease.