5 Health Problems Your Dental Check-Up May Uncover

Why You Shouldn't Avoid Your Dentist

5 Health Problems Your Dentist May Find
5 Health Problems Your Dentist May Find. GettyImages

We’ve all been guilty of putting off that 6-month reminder for your dental check-up.  However skipping that dental examination may have a bigger impact on your health than just a hole in the tooth!

Here are 5 surprising health issues that your dentist can identify about your body through your oral examination:

1) Anaemia

If you're feeling sluggish, low iron levels can often be the culprit with its role in carrying oxygen to our blood cells.  There are many signs of iron deficiency anemia such as pale skin, breathlessness or loss of appetite, however, if you have a cracked and reddened tongue then it’s time for a dental checkup. Your dentist will take one look at pale gums and know you’re not getting your share of leafy greens. Signs and symptoms of anemia are sometimes difficult to pick up in people, so that’s why it’s important to get your dental check-up regularly to quickly see any oral signs that your iron may be low.

2) Too much stress

When that deadline is due you could be damaging and wearing your teeth without even knowing it!  Hormone release associated with too much stress known to trigger a range of different health problems.  Night grinding or teeth bruxing due to overactive and tense jaw muscles is very common in people who are mentally overrun with stress and can be disastrous for your smile and is also linked to headaches, migraine and jaw dysfunction.  If you wake during the night with sore teeth or jaw pain or suffer from migraines then you may be grinding your teeth at night due to stress.

3) Sjogren's syndrome

An autoimmune disorder of the salivary glands that can be secondarily linked to the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome presents in 90% of cases in middle-aged women. Symptoms include dry eyes and mouth (increasing risk of tooth decay) which can be diagnosed through biopsy of the lip or eyes and will indicate further testing for the presence of rheumatoid arthritis.  Many presentations of Sjogren's syndrome is due to dry mouth which can be tested with a salivary test at your dental check-up!

4) Low Immune System 

Feeling run down? When we put extra pressure on our body or when fighting infections, our immune system can run on low for many reasons. Your mouth is a great sign of how your body is coping with fighting a bug as a struggling immune system may cause mouth ulcers.  A quick look from your dentist will tell you to give your body a dietary boost of vitamin c and vitamin d, zinc and a good old-fashioned rest. If you have reddening or cracked corners of your lips (known as angular cheilitis) it’s a good sign that you have a fungal infection that is due to a lowered immune system. There are more serious signs of immune system compromise like severe gum infections that your dentist is able to diagnose. 

5) Gluten Intolerance 

Yes, it may seem like a far stretch, but celiac disease sufferers have been shown to be at higher risk of dental disease.  For people who suffer from celiac disease, many are often undiagnosed as children, the digestion of the wheat protein, gluten can interrupt normal tooth formation and increase their risk of dental disease over their lifetime.  Your dentist will be able to tell if your teeth show signs of gluten intolerance and direct you to be tested accordingly. Alternatively, if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, you need to take extra precautions to make sure your teeth stay in good health! In some cases, tooth enamel can be damaged to the point that they are easily decayed and may require dental restoration to prevent further disease.

Was this page helpful?