6 Things Your Mouth Can Tell You About Your Health
As the leading holistic dentist in Prescott, we understand that what goes on in your mouth can directly reflect what’s happening elsewhere in your body. Conditions such as gum disease can be precursors to other conditions, like cognitive decline, diabetes, and certain STDs. At Prescott Dentistry, we care about the health of your whole body.
Here are six signs to pay attention to that might indicate something else is going on with your overall health and well-being:
Professional teeth whitening can blast away surface tooth stains caused by coffee, soda, and wine. But teeth that are yellow, brown, or much darker and show no signs of responding to whitening treatments could be an indication of a deeper problem. Very dark spots might indicate a cavity. Red or blue tints that suddenly appear could mean a deep internal crack in the tooth.
Grooves on the surface of the tooth, along with discoloration could signal celiac disease.
2. Tooth Pain
Hot or cold drinks and food may cause some sensitivity in your teeth. But if you experience pain, especially when you bite down or chew, it could signal the presence of decay or a cavity. The trick is to catch it early on. Don’t let the pain continue for more than a few days before making an appointment with us.
Other aches in your teeth could be the sign of a sinus infection. Because the sinuses are located right above the upper roots of your top set of teeth, aches in this area may indicate clogged sinuses. Barring any other obvious dental problems, an x-ray can diagnose this problem for certain. Or, a visit to your general practitioner can help with a diagnosis.
3. Bad Breath
If you’re diligent with your oral care, but oral odor stays around for more than two weeks, there might be something else going on—post-nasal drip, gastric reflux, chronic dry mouth, or even kidney failure. And if your breath isn’t bad but, rather, fruity, there is also the potential for diabetes. Your holistic dentist can help determine the next best steps for your health and well-being.
If you spot a few specks of blood when you rinse after brushing or flossing, you might just be an overzealous cleaner. However, if you routinely see red-tinted saliva in the sink, see your dentist. Bloody gums could be a sign of oral inflammation or gingivitis.
5. Tongue Changes
A bright red tongue can indicate a deficiency in folic acid, vitamin B12, or iron. Or it could be a sign of Kawasaki disease in children under 5 if it is accompanied by a high fever. A bright red and bumpy tongue could indicate scarlet fever. If it looks whitish, it could be due to inflammation, dry mouth, or even a yeast infection called oral thrush.
Mouth sores are painful and annoying, and depending on their location, they can be embarrassing. But mouth sores differ in severity. Canker sores or ulcers, which can appear inside or outside of the mouth, are often caused by stress, hormone changes, allergies, or nutritional deficiencies. Cold sores are fluid-filled sores, typically appearing on the lips, and are caused by the herpes simplex virus. They’re highly contagious, so hands off as they heal – it could take a week or two.
But if you spot a whitish, raised sore in or around your mouth that persists for more than three weeks, come visit us. Mouth sores that do not disappear after a few weeks, or that change in color or begin to swell, could be a sign of an autoimmune disease or even HPV. Oral HPV infections are rising quickly, especially among young women, and can lead to oral cancer.
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Early detection is key for all of these conditions. As the number one holistic dentist in Prescott, we are dedicated to compassionate service and biomimetic principles that result in lifelong oral health. If you are experiencing any of these changes in your mouth, be sure to make an appointment with us as soon as possible. Along with your primary care doctor, we can help determine if there is a larger health concern. Once your primary health concern is tended to, your dentist here at Prescott Dentistry can also take care of any cosmetic issues or needs.