What Your Mouth Tells Me – More than just words

This is a really important bit of information, so I’m very glad you’re reading this blog!
Did you know that up to 90% of systemic diseases “show up” in the mouth?
That’s a pretty incredible statistic and it’s why your regular dental checkups are often your first line of defense against systemic disease.
The mouth is the gateway to the body, and as such, dental professionals – dentists and hygienists – can identify symptoms that you may not even be aware of … like lesions or something as seemingly benign as a change in tongue color or texture.
Here are just a few examples of what I regularly spot in my patients’ mouths and what it may indicate...
  • |b|enamel erosion|e| – bulimia, GERD, pregnancy (morning sickness)
  • |b|žgum disease, lesions, bad breath, acetone breath|e| – diabetes or prediabetes
  • |b|žworn-down teeth & evidence of grinding or clenching |e| – stress, poor sleep, sleep apnea
  • |b|žscalloping of the sides of the tongue|e| – sleep apnea, nutrient deficiencies, hypothyroidism, jaw joint disorders
  • |b|žlesions|e|– diabetes, autoimmune disease, HPV, oral cancer
When I find anything that makes me suspicious, these are the steps we will take together:
1. Discussion of the symptom may sound like this…
  • Did you notice it? How long has it been there?
  • Is it painful?
  • Do you have any systemic diseases that I may not know about?
2. Action plan may include…
  • If it’s still there in 2 weeks, call me and we’ll get you in right away for further investigation.
  • Let’s investigate this a bit further. Today, I’d like to…
  • I’d like to you call your doctor today to have them follow up on this. Tell them I’ve asked you to call.
3. Treatment plan will be based on the outcome of 1. & 2. It will be a personalized and customized plan that is developed by me, your doctor, or by both of us.
Now you know that the importance of regular checkups and daily mindful home care is not all about your teeth. It’s also about your tongue, oral cavity, and overall health.
Keep brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, rinsing with water after meals if you can’t brush, and checking your mouth regularly for anything out of the ordinary that doesn’t go away in about 2 weeks.
And of course, keep your regular recall appointments and call me if you ever have even the slightest of concerns.
Always proud to be your Batavia family dentist, I encourage you to regularly read the Genesee Pennysaver, where you will find my articles on a variety of dental health topics. And as always, call us with any questions. We’d love to hear from you!