A typical visit to the dentist for most of us will involve nervousness, reading random magazines and news of another filling being needed; yet a recent study from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine has discovered a dental visit could unearth problems other than gum disease and cavities.
The study has found that your dentist could discover diseases that we wouldn’t usually relate to the mouth. Among the diseases is both undiagnosed and full blown diabetes, which can be identified simply by studying your oral cavities.
Because of the dramatic affect diabetes can have on your blood sugar levels, the affects of the disease can be seen in the mouth, through tooth decay, dry mouth – due to a lack of saliva in the mouth – ulcers and soreness. As well as diabetes, regular check-ups at the dentist have also allowed the discovery of diseases such as heart disease, amongst others.
Early signs that a dentist might pick up on that their patient has diabetes would include missing teeth, a symptom that is regularly seen in those who have the disease and which is becoming more of a problem the world over.
As well as missing teeth, another tell tale sign of diabetes your dentist may pick up on is the presence of deep periodontal pockets where the lost teeth used to be located in the mouth. As well as being a warning sign of diabetes, periodontal pockets give bacteria a hiding place to breed and multiply that is difficult to reach to clean with a tooth brush.
These findings from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine can greatly help the fight against diabetes, as the public is told to regularly receive a check-up from the dentist, usually twice a year, greatly increasing the chances of discovering the disease in the early stages and improving the chances of stopping any serious damage and reversing any damage that has already been done.
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