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Teeth, More Accurate than Crystal Balls

For years, most people have erroneously believed that the eyes are the mirror to the soul when in actuality, teeth do the job best. Despite the separation of medical and dental care in the insurance industries, the reality is that the mouth/body connection is interlinked and what is expressed in the mouth can be an indicator of what is really going on in regards of health.

The human mouth is an intricate network filled with teeth, gums, the tongue and oral bacteria. The organ is the point of entry for mastication and is essential for communication and declining oral health can negatively impact the ability for the area to function as designed. Seeking professional dental care and improving oral hygiene are the best ways to remedy those issues and the feedback received from your dentist can provide additional insight to general well being as a whole.

Worn Teeth=Stress

Research has indicated that 75 percent of the general population deals with some levels of stress every two weeks (National Health Interview Survey). Depending on the afflicted, the condition can manifest itself in a number of ways and can cause symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, anxiety and can cause tooth damage in the form of excessively worn teeth.

Teeth are composed of an intricate network of tooth enamel, dentin, cementum and dental pulp. When everything is well, the components are solid structures and the hardest components in the human body. Despite that, teeth are still extremely vulnerable to dental problems and excessive wear-and-tear is just one of them. A dentist can easily spot the signs of trouble and when they see indicators such as flat, worn teeth backed coupled with a headache and a patient’s complaint of jaw or facial pain, it is a good indicator that an individual is stressed out beyond belief.

As stress manifests differently in everyone, some individuals unconsciously clench and grind their jaw (AKA bruxism) in response to the feeling, resulting in excessive dental wear and tear. A skilled dentist will be able to pinpoint the aftermath of the grinding and while they cannot prescribe a course of action to relieve the tension, they can alert the patient of the condition and customize a mouth guard to keep teeth in place during slumber or any other time stress grinding occurs.

Crumbling Teeth=GERD

Yes, teeth are strong, but they are vulnerable to dental problems, especially those caused by acids. Oral bacteria are essential to oral health, but those organisms release acids as a byproduct of their work that cause issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. The stronger the acid, the bigger the dental problem and when stomach acids cover teeth, the end result can be complete disintegration. A skilled dentist can spot those dental indicators and can be instrumental in properly diagnosis GERD (AKA Gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Stomach acid serve an essential purpose in the digestion process and when it stays in its intended organ, everything will be fine. However, some individuals who suffer from a condition called acid reflux (or gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD) experience the acids coming upward and irritating the esophagus. Not only will that trigger up the discomfort of heart burn, the acid can also make it into the oral cavity and if left untreated, will contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel and can lead to tooth crumbling, burning tongue syndrome and dry mouth. A dentist can see the trifecta of symptoms and can accurately diagnose individuals suffering from this disorder.

Growing Gums=Too Much Medication

Gums are the mucosal tissue that lies over the mandible and maxilla inside the mouth and are the tissue that helps keep teeth intact. Over time, it is common for gums to recede either due to age or even by brushing too hard. While many individuals may run to the dentist to ensure their gum health is intact to prevent themselves from looking “too long in the tooth,” growing gums is not a natural occurrence and should be cause of concern that should be brought to the attention of a dentist.

In some rare cases, gums can swell to the point that they cover teeth. In those cases, the cause may be prescription medication. Some medicine for heart disease and seizures may suppress the immune system, and gum inflammation may be a side effect indicating that the dosage is too strong. Individuals suffering from this unusual condition should point it out to a dentist who can examine and then provide advice on how to deal with the problem. Chances are they will refer the patient back to the prescribing doctor who may tweak the recommended dosage.

Individuals who are experiencing unexplained dental conditions including stubborn sores, bleeding gums, toothaches or chronic dry mouth should not wait for the problems to go away on their own. Instead, scheduling an appointment with a dental care provider is a much better idea as the sooner preventative dentistry or behavior modifications are implemented, the better of one’s general health and oral health will be in the long run.

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