Your Dentist Is A Disease Detective

Did you know that your mouth can reveal manifestations of underlying systemic diseases? Dentists say that oral health is a window to your overall health.

This is why your dentist doesn’t only look for tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist can also detect any other disease. Your routine dental visits can reveal conditions from autoimmune conditions, endocrine issues to eating disorders.

Over 90% of systemic diseases have oral manifestations. Therefore, even with proper hygiene, certain conditions such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and leukemia will lower the body’s immune response and increase the severity of oral health problems.

Oral manifestations of other diseases

Not only can routine dental checkups reveal particular health concerns, but they may also prevent them. If you require a dentist, you can consider a family dentist in Lancaster. Some of the dental issues that may indicate underlying problems include;

  • Recurring gum disease.
  • Receding gum line
  • Loose teeth
  • Erosion of the enamel of the front teeth.
  • Dry mouth
  • Swollen gums

Health conditions your dentist can detect

Health experts have reported numerous ways in which oral health links to general health in adults and pediatric patients. Your dentist will examine mucosal changes, general condition of the teeth and tongue, periodontal inflammation, recurrence of a specific oral health issue, and bleeding to rule out other health conditions.


Severe bleeding or periodontal inflammation is a sign of diabetes mellitus, HIV, and leukemia.

Eating disorders

Patients with eating disorders and gastroesophageal reflux disease present irreversible dental erosion from exposure to the acidic gastric contents


Respiratory infections

Persistent bad breathe even after medication can result from a chronic lung infection, diabetes, liver and kidney disease, or gastrointestinal problems. Poor oral hygiene also promotes severe gum disease, leading to lung infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Addison disease

Melanin pigmentation on the tongue could be a sign of Addison disease.

Nutritional deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies also manifest in the mouth through sores, bleeding gums, loose teeth, or burning tongue syndrome.

Heart complications

Poor oral hygiene can lead to heart disease. Bacteria from your mouth will go to your heart, increasing the risk of developing coronary artery disease by promoting the formation of blood clots in the arteries.

Stress and mental health disorders

Dry mouth syndrome increases the risk of tooth decay. In addition, cold sores and jaw pain can be a sign of stress and other mental disorders.

A recent study discovered that poor oral hygiene is a risk factor for dementia. The researchers claim that bacteria from gum disease spreads to the brain, causing inflammation, which slowly starts affecting cognitive function and memory.

Birth complications

Periodontitis (gum disease) is associated with premature birth and low birth weight. The harmful bacteria travels from the mouth to the heart, causing endocarditis.


Your mouth is an entry point to your digestive and respiratory system, making it prone to mostly harmful bacteria. Fortunately, your body’s natural defence mechanisms, together with good oral health care, can keep the bacteria in the mouth under control.

Good oral health reduces the risk of oral and systemic conditions. Some good oral practices include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice per day using a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Flossing daily.
  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Using mouthwash after brushing and flossing to remove food particles and kill harmful bacteria.
  • Replacing your toothbrush every three months or sooner.
  • Avoid smoking.

Final Thoughts

You should visit your dentist at least bi-annually for checkups. Your dentist will not only treat your dental issues but also detect underlying conditions and allow for early intervention by other physicians.