You might be surprised about how much your mouth can tell you about your overall health. Your oral health can be an indication of the health of the rest of your body, so caring for and monitoring your oral health is an important part of staying healthy. Many health conditions can cause oral signs and symptoms, and some oral health problems could even lead to issues for other parts of your body. Research has started to show that some oral health problems are linked to conditions ranging from heart disease to Alzheimer’s. Here’s why you should be taking care of your oral health and noting any changes that you might observe.

Oral Symptoms

Many health conditions can cause symptoms in the mouth. Problems such as oral thrush, mouth ulcers or sores, sore gums and even toothache can have underlying causes. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90% of systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms. A broad range of issues can cause oral symptoms, ranging from infections to hormonal imbalances. Oral signs alone might not be enough to diagnose what the problem is, but they can help to indicate that there is something wrong. 

Another element of oral health that can be monitored to understand the rest of the body is saliva. Testing saliva can be used to check many elements of a person’s health, from their stress levels to the presence of infections or even cancer. Saliva testing is also used to detect drugs, hormone changes and environmental toxins. Advancements in technology might allow it to replace blood testing in many instances in the future.

How Oral Health Can Affect Overall Health

Oral health problems could also lead to a variety of other health problems. Oral infections have been linked to a number of other conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and preterm birth. Recent research has also indicated that there might be a link between bacteria from gum disease and Alzheimer’s. For many of these health conditions that have been linked to oral signs and symptoms, more research is required to find out how they might be connected, if there is a connection. Oral health issues could lead to other problems, or health conditions affecting other parts of the body could exhibit oral health symptoms.

How Your Dentist Can Help

Your dentist can help you to take care of your oral health and your overall health. Dentists and dental hygienists can educate you on how to best take care of your oral health. It’s important to brush and floss daily, as well as be careful with your diet. Regular visits to your dentist will help you to pick up on any problems as soon as possible. If you notice any changes in your mouth, make an appointment with your dentist.

Look after your oral health and your overall health with a good dentist. At Rose Dental in Nashua, NH, Dr Min Zhu will help you to care for your oral health and educate you about how it links to your overall health.