If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the mouth is the window to the body.
More than 90% of all systemic diseases have some form of clinical presentation in the mouth (Academy of General Dentistry).
Not only does the mouth play many important physiologic roles (digestion, respiration and speech), it also holds important clues to overall health issues. The mouth is one of the first places to show signs of a medical condition so regular dental visits are imperative for the detection of early signs and symptoms of systemic diseases.
Many health conditions have oral manifestations. I have listed some of these conditions to illustrate how your oral health provider (dentist, hygienist and dental specialist) can assist in their diagnosis and management. Examples are:
- viral or fungal infections (herpes simplex, STDs, HIV, Candidiasis)
- gastro-intestinal disorders (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, gastro-eosophageal reflux, chronic liver disease)
- haematological disorders (anaemia)
- endocrine disorders (diabetes, osteoporosis)
- connective tissue disorders (Sjogren’s syndrome)
- dermatological disorders (psoriasis)
- respiratory disorders (asthma)
- pulmonary disorders (sarcoidosis)
- immunocompromised disorders (leukemia)
- mental illness (stress)
So to ensure good overall health, remember to attend your regular dental check-ups.