Your mouth can present signs of various systemic conditions. As a result, your dentist may be the first provider to help diagnose your illness.
Here are a few conditions that the state of your mouth may help diagnose.
Blood Sugar Problems
People with diabetes may suffer from multiple dental health concerns, including periodontal disease and dental decay. For diabetic patients with uncontrolled blood sugar, the gums may become inflamed.
In order for your gums to remain in good condition, they need a healthy supply of oxygenated blood. However, high blood sugar levels can adversely affect the blood vessels that lead to the gums. As a result, the gums may not receive the oxygen and nutrients that they need.
As a dentist looks at your gums, if the provider is unable to trace the cause of the inflammation back to poor hygiene, they may suspect diabetes. In addition to circulatory issues, the gums may be affected by an increased number of oral bacteria.
The bacteria in the mouth may quickly multiply due to the high levels of sugar from diabetes. If the disease has not been diagnosed, the patient is unlikely to have taken measures to regulate their blood sugar, so the impact on the gums may be more severe.
The increase in oral bacteria may also incite tooth decay. Decay is caused by bacterial acids. If you are developing more dental caries than usual, your dentist may associate the increase in cavities with blood sugar problems.
A dentist may also be able to help identify signs of bulimia. Bulimia is an eating disorder in which people eat large amounts of food and then try to remove the food from their body before it can be properly digested. Thus, bulimic patients may vomit immediately after eating.
The vomit is highly acidic because of the stomach acids that it contains. As a result, the acid can cause enamel erosion and tooth decay. In addition, the acid may inflame the gum tissues, causing gum disease.
During a dental examination, the dentist may notice that the enamel appears eaten away. Also, they may notice a larger-than-usual number of cavities. Bulimic patients may also exhibit bad breath.
Although many people with eating disorders may not want to initiate a discussion about their condition, a dentist can recommend help if they see sufficient indications of the disease.
To learn more about the relationship between your systemic and oral health, schedule a consultation with a group like Belgrade Dental Associates.