What Your Teeth Can Say About Your Health
Your McKinney, TX dentist wants every patient to understand that the state of their oral health can say a lot about the state of their overall health. In fact, your mouth acts as such a clear reflection of your health that Dr. Lawrence can actually identify certain types of oral health conditions just by examining the state of your teeth and gums.
Practicing quality oral hygiene helps to prevent the development of everything from chronic bad breath and cavities to heart disease and stroke. In recent years, research has found that individuals who suffer from poor oral health have a higher risk for a variety of systemic diseases. Lowering your risk for these types of conditions – while also protecting the health of your teeth and gums – means brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling regular exams and cleanings with your McKinney, TX dentist.
In addition to what we’ve already mentioned, here are a few things that your teeth can reveal about your overall health.
Poor Sleep or Genera Anxiety
If you suffer from general feelings of anxiety, stress, or have problems sleeping at night, your teeth could provide a clue about your state of mind. Bruxism – the technical terms for teeth grinding – often occurs in individuals that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Those who deal with excessive stress levels also have the habit of unconsciously grinding their teeth.
When we grind our teeth at night or during stressful moments, the excessive pressure causes our tooth enamel to wear down, allowing cracks to develop in the surface of our teeth. Not only can teeth grinding wear down the surface of our teeth causing them to become flat or uneven, the destructive habit also increases the risk for tooth decay.
To prevent the effects of bruxism, Dr. Lawrence may recommend wearing a mouth guard at night to protect your tooth enamel. Regular exercise and stress management techniques can also reduce the frequency of grinding due to stress.
Dr. Lawrence can detect eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia by examining a patient’s teeth. Studies have shown that gastric acid from regular purging – which has been linked to both conditions – could decay tooth enamel and the soft layer that lies beneath called the dentin.
Stomach acid is extremely corrosive to both the foods we eat and our teeth. For those that suffer from an eating disorder, regular vomiting cause stomach acid to come into frequent contact with their teeth. This can easily cause tooth enamel to erode and for the health of the teeth to breakdown.
Diets that consist of a high number of sodas, candy, energy drinks, coffee, and tea may cause tooth discoloration that can severely dampen the color of your smile. Not only can diets high in these types of sugary or acid beverages cause teeth to discolor, they also cause higher rates of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.