Your general dentist may be the first health professional to notice the signs of a serious health condition. Your teeth and mouth can show the signs of health problems, and if you visit your dentist routinely, he or she may be the first to alert you to early warning signs.
Some of the health conditions that can show up in your mouth include:
Diabetes: Diabetes can cause oral thrush, which is an overgrowth of fungus that is normally in your mouth. This fungus is normally controlled by your immune system, but excess blood sugar can cause the fungus to grow out of control. Diabetes is also often associated with periodontal disease, so your gums may appear shiny and red, and they may pull away from your teeth. Good dental hygiene can prevent periodontal disease.
Oral cancer: Sores, lumps and ulcers on your lips or in your mouth can be a sign of oral cancer. These bumps don’t go away over time. Oral cancer can also show up as a deep crack in your oral tissue, or there may be rough, discolored patches of tissue.
HIV: Because the immune system is suppressed by HIV, the virus often has oral symptoms because the body cannot fight off infections. Fuzzy white patches in your mouth known as hairy leukoplakia can be a sign of HIV. Other oral signs of HIV include thrush, sores and dry mouth.
The only way to know whether what you see in your mouth is cause for concern is to visit your dentist or physician.
To schedule a dental cleaning and exam with an experienced general dentist near Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax, Virginia, please contact Galleria Dental Aesthetics now.