How a Dentist in Plano Can Save Your Life

When it comes to saving lives, we usually think of our medical physicians, not our dentists. But dentists are life-saving heroes, too. How so? Dentists can tell you more about your overall health than most people realize.

Your mouth is like a window into the rest of your health, and by looking for certain clues, a dentist can identify potential medical problems like diabetes, kidney disease, and osteoporosis.

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Signs dentists look for and what they could mean:

1. Excessive cavities and inflamed gums – Chronic dental infections may be a sign of heart disease. In fact, clinical studies have linked periodontal disease and heart disease. When you keep up with regular dental visits, your dentist is often the first line of defense – he or she can recognize potential heart problems even if you haven't been to the physician in awhile.

2. Breath that smells like ammonia – This is a common symptom of kidney disease and is often accompanied by a metallic taste in your mouth. Be sure to divulge anything that seems unusual; after ruling out dental problems, your dentist can advise you on what to do next.

3. Bright red, bleeding gums and bad breath – These may be signs of gum disease or Type 2 diabetes. A trip to the dentist can confirm whether you have gum disease. In the event that you don't, your dentist may recommend a visit to your physician for a diabetes evaluation.

4. Fiery red gums and slow-to-heal mouth sores – These may be signs of leukemia. As with any type of cancer, leukemia requires immediate care. A regular dental exam can turn out to be a life saver because your dentist will surely see the signs even if you don't.

5. Sour or burning taste in your mouth – This could be a sign of acid reflux, especially if your teeth also show signs of enamel erosion. Many dentists can offer helpful dietary tips; at the very least, your dentist can make you aware of a potential problem and advise you to see a medical physician.