You receive a dental checkup and cleaning every six months to keep your teeth healthy and maintain a beautiful smile. However, a dental checkup could also save your life, as it allows your dentist to diagnose any serious problems in their earliest stages.
Oral cancer is becoming increasingly common. Left untreated, it can spread to other parts of your body. The good news is that when oral cancer is identified early, there is a high survival rate. If you notice any red or white patches in your mouth, experience swelling in your mouth or throat, or suffer from persistent sores that take a long time to heal, book an appointment with your dentist before your regular checkup.
Bad breath is typically a sign of poor oral hygiene, but it could also be an indication of diabetes. When diabetics suffer from sugar regulation or insulin control problems, bad breath can mean stomach or liver dysfunction. Other common oral health problems that suggest you may have diabetes include frequently swollen or bleeding gums.
Mineral or Vitamin Deficiency
Canker sores are a common and usually minor issue. However, if you experience a chronic outbreak, you may have a mineral deficiency. Your dentist can advise you on how to change your diet and may recommend a test for gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Vitamin B6 deficiency also shows up in your mouth — in the form of red patches on your gums or tongue.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
If you bite hard food (or something other than food), there is always the risk that you could damage your teeth. However, cracks and fractures in your teeth may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition causes stomach acid to pass into your mouth and weakens teeth.