16 Dec Boca Raton Dentist: 5 Scary Health Conditions Your Dentist Can Spot
You expect your dentist to flag cavities, but did you know your drill-wielding doc might also be able to spot trouble that extends well beyond your pearly whites?
“It’s becoming clear that we need to consider integrating oral and general health care,” says Steve Offenbacher, D.D.S., director of the Center for Oral and Systemic Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “The oral cavity is the mirror to the rest of the body, so we can pick up on systemic problems by simple dental examinations.” In other words, the state of your smile may shine a light on the rest of your body — sometimes even before other symptoms show up.
Case in point: Offenbacher once told a middle-aged patient he suspected she was pregnant, based simply on the redness of her gums. “The next week, she came back and said, ‘I went to the doctor, and yes, I am pregnant!’’ he recalls. In that case, Offenbacher was the bearer of good news, but not all of the secrets your mouth may reveal are so positive. Your teeth may also provide clues about these five health-threatening conditions.