Is Your Mouth a Window to Your Health? Dental Tips from Milwaukee Dentist Dr. Tony Cigno
Milwaukee Dentist Dr. Tony Cigno Shares 4 Ways Your Mouth Reveals Your Overall Health.
They say the eyes are the window to the soul. And that may be true. However, it might be just as accurate to say your dental health speaks volumes about your general health too.
Dr. Tony Cigno has been a Milwaukee Dentist for many years. He has become an expert on identifying dental issues at their beginning stages – before they become a major problem – and helping to rectify them before they require more extensive attention.
As such, Dr. Cigno saves customers much (unnecessary) pain, suffering, and money on the most expensive treatments. Additionally, new research shows it’s quite possible this Milwaukee Dentist might be literally saving their lives too by catching these problems early.
Here are 4 ways your dental health gives major clues to your general health as well:
Your teeth are beginning to feel “different” or ultra-sensitive
Have you noticed some (or several) of your teeth becoming gritty or sensitive? If so, you may be experiencing acid reflux.
The medical term for the condition that causes this problem is gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. With GERD, acid from the stomach leaks back up through the esophagus, into the throat and subsequently, the mouth. Here, it erodes the enamel on the teeth over time. Most often, it will affect the tongue side of the teeth.
Of course, heartburn among adults is somewhat normal. Yet, if you begin experiencing heartburn more than 2 or 3 times a week and the other dental symptoms mentioned, you may have GERD that is becoming more serious.
In order to keep this disease from worsening and causing other greater health issues, you should take the GERD dental symptoms as a warning and seek treatment. You can start with over-the-counter reflux treatments such as Prevacid or Prilosec. However, if that doesn’t seem to help, be sure to see a doctor.
Your teeth are wearing down faster than normal
It’s not surprising to find adults with their back teeth wearing down. The simple fact is that many people grind their teeth – specifically their molars – in their sleep. On the other hand, if you are noticing your teeth losing size and shape more rapidly than before, this may be a sign that you are experiencing excessive stress.
Of course, by now, most of us know the massive health risks associated with rampant or unmanaged high levels of stress. From high blood pressure and reduced immunity, to the greater potential for heart attack and stroke, unattended stress is no laughing matter.
If you suddenly start grinding your teeth where you didn’t before, or if you notice your grinding becoming significantly worse as evidenced by your eroding teeth, you need to get a hold on your stress.
You can begin by simply making an effort to relax more in general. Or you can take a more aggressive approach to relaxation by starting a meditation or yoga program. Exercise is also great for managing stress. Yet, if none of that seems to help you likely want to speak to a professional. Stress you can’t handle on your own is a very serious matter for many reasons and should be dealt with no matter what.
You are suddenly getting a ton of cavities
Okay… a “ton” is an exaggeration. However, if all of a sudden you feel like you are getting cavities right and left – at a much higher rate than in the past – this could be a sign of something more serious than slacking on oral care. If you haven’t started eating a tons more sweets or drink a gallon of soda or juice a day, you may be having trouble processing glucose—a sign of diabetes.
When your body isn’t processing glucose well, sugar starts to build up in the saliva produced in your mouth. This greater volume of sugar swilling around creates a prime environment for cavities. Another sign of diabetes is teeth that suddenly become sensitive (although, that symptom can be due to many different things as well). Other signs of diabetes that can be found in oral health are an overly dry mouth, thrush (yeast infection in the mouth), and gum disease.
Your gums are bleeding and/or you have other signs of gingivitis
Gum disease in and of itself isn’t great. Untreated, it can lead to periodontitis (serious gum disease), the need for a root canal, and possibly, tooth loss. But that’s not all…
It’s very possible the inflammation caused by gum disease also puts us at much greater risk for bigger problems with our health too. A recent study published in the American Heart Journal found that people with periodontitis are much more likely to have heart disease or experience heart attack.
If you are seeing blood on your toothbrush during brushing – or notice your gums getting swollen and inflamed more than periodically – be sure to speak with your dentist and let him or her know. If you are a patient here at Cigno Dental, be sure and relay this information to our Milwaukee Dentist, Dr. Cigno. He will know how to best help you and ensure your gum disease not only gets no worse but hopefully, can be treated before it needs more invasive treatments.
There are many more health signs your mouth can share but those are a few of the big ones. In general, if you notice anything significant or new – that doesn’t have a cause you can pinpoint – check with your dentist first and as soon as possible. He, like our Milwaukee Dentist Dr. Cigno, should be able to tell you whether or not you have cause for concern. Furthermore, if you do, he or she will be able to give you advice on the best course of action to deal with any problems.