Your mouth helps you eat, drink, talk and smile, but did you know that it can also provide clues to other diseases? Dentists can act as disease detectives by examining your mouth, head and neck for signs and symptoms that may point to more serious health issues.
During routine checkups, dentists not only look for cavities and gum disease, but also monitor symptoms like breath odor, unexplained sores and tooth erosion. If certain signs are detected, dentists can urge patients to seek medical attention to help better manage their oral health and overall health.
Dentists are at the forefront of saving lives, as more than 90 percent of common diseases have oral symptoms and can be detected in the dental chair.1 In fact, more than 120 signs and symptoms of nondental diseases can be detected through a routine oral exam.2
It’s important to remember that just because you haven’t had a cavity or tooth pain recently doesn’t necessarily mean you are in the clear. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly to ensure your oral health and overall health are in good standing.
This information is available for download as an oral health flier.
1 Academy of General Dentistry, “Dental Care and Oral Health Information You Need,” web.
2 James W. Little et al., Dental Management of the Medically Compromised Patient (St. Louis: Mosby, 2012).