October 1st is World Smile Day! A day to make other people smile and do kind acts. Whilst smiling can reflect happy emotions, it can also reveal health signs.
So how can you tell what potential health dangers hide behind a smile? The experts at ExpressDentist can reveal a list of the top five health signs that can be shown by teeth.
These are the top five health issues your teeth can reveal:
1. Eating disorders and tooth enamel
If an eating disorder involves vomiting, stomach acids wash over teeth and can dissolve the hard enamel covering. Changes in colour, shape, translucency, or sensitivity may provide clues to an underlying problem that can lead to extensive decay and tooth loss over time.
2. Anaemia and pale gums
Pale gums can be caused by anaemia, commonly due to an iron deficiency. Some colour variations exist between individuals, and we're most concerned about swollen, ulcerative, or painful gums. But a follow-up with a physician can provide clear answers and peace of mind whenever changes appear that suggest underlying systemic causes.
3. Osteoporosis and tooth loss
The bone around your teeth provides the foundation that supports them. Whilst it may be difficult to detect at home, dentists and hygienists may be the first to suspect a systemic change in bone density due to osteoporosis. Teeth that move more than average during an exam could provide an early clue to this progressive condition. We often recommend a bone density test with a physician in these cases.
4. Oral thrush and HIV
We don't expect to see oral thrush in patients with normal immunity unless they're denture wearers. But as the virus weakens the immune system in HIV patients, they become more susceptible to thrush and other more severe infections. A general physical exam and blood tests can help provide answers.
5. Tooth loss and kidney disease
Kidney disease can cause mouth sores, changes in taste, and dry mouth from xerostomia, a reduction in saliva production. When the mouth dries out, acidity increases, and the low pH may result in aggressive tooth decay and eventual tooth loss. Some research also shows that patients with gum disease have an increased risk of kidney disease, another two-way relationship between oral and systemic health.