Thyroid Conditions and Dental Health in Prescott
The thyroid may be a tiny gland, but it plays a big role in your health and overall well-being. When functioning properly, it produces the hormones we need to live and thrive. But when your thyroid isn’t working properly, this can result in significant health problems including tooth decay and gum disease. At Prescott Dentistry, we want you to be aware of the connection between thyroid conditions and dental health, because your overall health is our top priority.
Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from thyroid conditions. The most common are hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid). Typical symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Hair loss
- Decreased circulation
- Diminished digestion and constipation
- Fertility issues
- Dry skin
Typical symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Racing heart
- Increased sweating
- Thin skin
- Brittle hair and nails
- Muscle weakness
- Weight loss
- Bulging eyes (in Graves’ disease)
How Thyroid Problems Affect Your Dental Health
- Thyroid problems can also cause many problems with your teeth and gums. A healthy thyroid is crucial to your body’s natural healing process. Weak or damaged gums are more susceptible to infection than strong and healthy ones, so those with thyroid conditions are more at risk for gum disease. And gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease.
- Thyroid problems can also significantly reduce saliva production. Saliva helps to prevent cavities by dissolving the foods we eat and preventing them from sticking to the tooth enamel. Saliva also helps to restore the structural strength of tooth enamel by delivering minerals to the teeth. So decreased saliva in the mouth increases the chances of cavities developing in the tooth enamel.
- Children who have thyroid problems can develop issues with their teeth and jaw as they grow and develop. They are more likely to have: crowded teeth, gaps between teeth, irritated or enlarged gums, gums projecting between teeth, and a greater susceptibility to cavities.
We Can Help
Especially for those who struggle with hyperthyroidism or hyperthyroidism, it is important to understand the connection between thyroid conditions and dental health. If you suffer from thyroid problems, be sure to let your dentist here at Prescott Dentistry know. We will partner with you and your physician to help you develop healthy and natural oral hygiene habits as part of an overall holistic healthcare approach. We know that having thyroid problems can feel debilitating, but we will do our best to help you ensure that your mouth and your smile stay healthy and beautiful!
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