Unless someone is in pain or experiencing noticeable symptoms of a health problem, it may be difficult to diagnose certain health issues. Many people do not even realize that there is a problem until certain conditions have advanced to the point of pain and discomfort. Many may wonder what they should do about these sneaky health issues. One solution is regular dental exams. Dentists are actually pretty good at spotting various health problems. Here are three health issues that a dentist may notice before their patient does.
Heart disease is extremely common with over 11.5 percent of adults having diagnosed heart disease. It's also the leading cause of death throughout the United States. Despite the fact that heart disease is so common, many people do not recognize the signs of the disease until it is too late. One thing that can be a signal of heart disease is gum disease. The reason for this is that gum disease and heart disease share many of the same risk factors, including smoking, age, and diabetes. Dentists who notice advancing gum disease in their patients may also recommend that they have their hearts examined as well.
Acid reflux disease usually has pretty obvious symptoms. Heartburn, a chronic sore throat, regurgitation, nausea, and other symptoms are usually felt by the sufferer. However, this is not always the case. Laryngopharyngeal reflux, or LPR, is a type of reflux caused by the backflow of the stomach contents into the airway. This condition affects over 50 million Americans and is often misdiagnosed since its symptoms often mimic those of asthma. Many with this condition have trouble breathing, tend to snore, and have shortness of breath. Many who suffer from LPR also have tooth decay, especially on their back molars. Many people do not realize they have this condition until their dentists make them aware of the tooth decay on their molars.
Dementia affects 47.5 million people and is characterized by a deterioration in memory and thinking ability, making it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks. Some studies have linked oral health and dementia. Bacteria associated with gum disease has been found in the brains of dementia sufferers, leading scientists to believe that the bacteria may play a role. Regardless of whether or not gum disease bacteria plays a role in the development of dementia, dentists often see the warning signs of this disease early on. Dementia may be not be obvious at first, but cognitive issues often leave patients with less ability to take care of their oral health. Dentists can often spot dementia symptoms early on.
Getting regular dental exams is great for oral health. It's also a way to catch certain health conditions early on. Dentists often notice the signs of heart disease, acid reflux, and dementia before their patients and even other medical professionals do.