What Your Mouth Can Tell You About Your Health
(AscendHealthy.com) – Our mouths say more about us than we may realize. They can provide insight into numerous aspects of our health, reflecting problems in other areas of the body and sending out red flags when something goes wrong.
Some signs are subtler than others, so it’s important we pay attention when our mouths are trying to talk to us. Here are a handful of ways they can speak volumes about our health.
Your Mouth Can Signal Illness
In some cases, changes in the mouth can be the first indication that the body is fighting disease. Check out these different conditions issues in the mouth could be signaling:
- Autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can affect salivary glands, cause ulcers and inflame the jaw joints.
- Anemia can cause the gums and other areas of the mouth to become pale. Some sufferers may develop soreness, smoothness or swelling in the tongue.
- Acid reflux can cause more than just heartburn; it can lead to tooth erosion, sometimes even in the absence of any other symptoms.
- Chronic kidney disease can cause an accumulation of toxins in the system, some of which can cause the breath to take on an ammonia-like quality.
- Diabetes can also change the smell of the breath, but the change is usually more fruity. This condition can also cause dry mouth, which may lead to tooth decay and other complications.
- Liver failure is yet another condition that can alter the breath, usually causing a fishy odor.
- Oral cancer may cause unexplained mouth bleeding, changes in how the teeth fit together, swelling or thickening and red or white speckled patches. It may also cause lumps, bumps or erosions in the mouth or on the lips or gums.
- Sinus infections can sometimes mimic severe tooth pain. Pain that worsens upon bending over is usually a tip-off that the source is sinus pressure, not a bad tooth.
Other Clues Your Mouth Can Tell You
The mouth can also manifest issues when we aren’t caring for ourselves as well as we could be, and the evidence often shows in tell-tale ways. Here are a few of the most common:
- Eating disorders like bulimia can lead to tooth erosion and cavities, particularly in the backs of the front teeth.
- Poor flossing habits can cause inflamed, bleeding gums.
- Nail-biting causes the teeth to erode where they come into contact with one another, leading to visible wear.
- Alcohol abuse can cause dry mouth, making cavities and other issues more likely.
- Excessive soda or sports drink consumption subject the mouth to high acidity, wearing down enamel, weakening teeth and making them more prone to chips.
Our oral health is often a reflection of our overall health, so it’s important we know our mouths well and pay attention to any issues. Remember, some problems can come gradually and become more apparent over time. Make sure to report any changes or unexpected issues to a dentist or qualified doctor. Scheduling routine dental exams is key to diagnosing oral health problems that may indicate a bigger problem.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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