As a doctor, you learn pretty early that the human body truly works as a whole. An illness can have a lot of manifestations, and sometimes what we perceive as something normal can be a sign of something more serious. The mouth, for example, can show us a lot about our health, if we know what to look for.
I’ve talked here before about how periodontal disease is linked to diabetes, or how an earache can mean there’s something wrong with your teeth. So, today I want to tell you about some other symptoms that can be identified by your dentist and that can be symptoms of more serious conditions.
One thing to have in mind is, of course, that all these signs can be just very normal problems that can be easily solved, but being cautious never hurt anyone. Learning how your body works and what to look for is key to being healthy.
First, there are some diseases that manifest themselves early in the mouth, like anemia, which causes the mucous membranes and the gums to pale, ulcers and the loss of papillas on the tongue. Leukemia and oral cancer can also cause ulcers, bleeding gums and spots that vary in color.
A good rule of thumb is: any kind of lesion in the mouth that has no apparent reason should be looked up urgently. Whatever it’s causing it, your mouth is very fragile, and an early diagnosis means more chances of curing or stopping a health condition from developing further.
All in all, your dentist should be equipped to help you with any question you have, and to run the necessary tests to find out what’s happening. Make sure your dentist has all the equipment to perform panoramic X-rays and CT scans, since these are the kind of exams that can help determine if what you have is just a run of the mill mouth or teeth problem, or it’s a sign of something more serious.
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