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What Sorts of Medical Conditions Can My Dentist Find First?

January 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_carter @ 9:07 pm
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One’s oral health is a crucial part of their overall health, and dentists look out for a lot more than just their patients’ teeth. There are more than one hundred diseases that can show symptoms in the oral cavity, and dentists are often the first professionals to discover that a patient has a serious medical condition that requires attention. Here are a few of the health conditions that a dentist might find so that their patients can seek the appropriate medical help.

Dentists Can Detect Hypertension

Most people see their dentists much more frequently than their general doctors, so a dental appointment is a great opportunity to check on someone’s cardiovascular health. Dentists typically take their patients’ blood pressure before routine exams and cleanings. While this allows the dentist to get a baseline reading that can be helpful when administering anesthetics or other treatments, it can sometimes lead to the discovery of a patient’s hypertension. Also called high blood pressure, hypertension is a serious medical condition that can lead to stroke or heart disease if left untreated.

Dentists Detect Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate its blood sugar by producing insulin, and it is associated with a variety of medical problems like stroke, heart disease, dementia, and oral health issues. Diabetes interferes with the immune system, making patients more likely to develop gum disease, lose teeth, and develop dangerous secondary infections like sepsis or pneumonia. A dentist performing a routine exam and cleaning may direct a patient to seek help from a specialist if they suspect diabetes.

Early Detection of Oral Cancer

About 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, making it the sixth most common form of cancer in America. It can present itself within the mouth as red and white lesions that are usually on the tongue, the floor of the mouth, and soft palate tissues. Seeing your dentist regularly can allow them to catch the disease in its early stages when it can be treated most effectively and efficiently.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year is a great way to protect your oral and overall health. The next time you walk through the doors of your dentist’s office, take a second to appreciate all they do to keep you healthy and smiling bright.

About the Author

Dr. Bruce E. Carter earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and completed the Cosmetic Dentistry Continuum Level II at the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and has completed more than 1600 hours of advanced dental training since graduating. His office in Lawrenceville, GA offers general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. To schedule an appointment, contact his office online or dial (770) 995-7616.

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