The mouth is a major gateway to the entire human body. It is home to more than 500 different types of bacteria, with some less dangerous than others. Just how attractive and functioning this gate is, can tell a lot about how well the other parts of the house are functioning. In other words, it can reveal a lot more than you think about your overall health.
Let us dive in a little deeper on the mouth. How many times have you heard people say that they have some kind of pain in their mouth—some swollen gums, blood traces when they brush, sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks etc. — and then they do nothing about it, until it gets so bad that they start to lose sleep over it.
But just how bad can it get? Chances are that the initial pain in the mouth is a manifestation of another disease in the body, and not an ordinary mouth pain as initially suspected by the patient. It is this disease that has therefore gotten worse, and has resulted in the patient equally feeling worse.
Your oral health is vital for your overall health.
In this article, we will take a look at 4 common diseases that your mouth can give away.
Numerous bacteria, the very dangerous ones and their less dangerous counterparts, reside in the mouth. The bloodstream connects the mouth to other parts of the body, including the heart. These bacteria, on reaching the heart, can cause reactions leading to illnesses like stroke, atherosclerosis and endocarditis. The gums pull away from the teeth. They are red, swollen, and bleeding. Teeth loss may also present.
Some other times, both gum and cardiovascular diseases may be as a result of another factor such as smoking.
This metabolic disease can cause problems in the mouth which primarily manifest in your teeth and gums. A person with either of type 1 and type 2 diabetes have a lot of sugar in their blood. They also show a lot of dangerous and less dangerous bacteria in their mouth. When sugar is taken, together with these bacteria, they form sticky films known as plaque on the teeth. Acids from the plaque can then lead to the formation of cavities, meaning more tooth decay than the person have ever had in times past. An abnormal mobility of the teeth which may even result in teeth falling out of their sockets might result. However, studies have shown that diabetic patients who maintain good oral hygiene have better control of their blood sugar.
In addition to these, the plaque formed can harden into tartar at the gumline. This will cause irritation, swelling of gums and eventually, gums pulling away from the teeth.
Individuals with diabetes are also prone to a disease called oral thrush or candidiasis. This disease is caused by an organism called Candida albicans, and manifests as sore white or red areas in the mouth. A dry mouth is also another sign your mouth can give away in diabetes.
Iron is important in the formation of red blood cells, so are vitamins. When either of these is deficient in the body, it does not produce enough blood cells to carry oxygen and other much needed nutrients to body tissues.
When the teeth and gums do not get the nutrients they need, they suffer.
A common symptom is the paleness of gums. This means that they become whiter and faded. It can also be seen on the tongue and the whole of the mouth. A swollen tongue with pain in it can also give anaemia away. In addition, the teeth may become more prone to decay because they do not get sufficient nutrients.
Your mouth can give away signs and symptoms of tumor growths. This can be those from the regions of the head and neck when examined by your dentist. It is estimated that there are as many as a hundred thousand cases of oral cancer per year in Nigeria alone, despite the paucity of data in Africa
Persistent white patches in the mouth may signal the possibility of a developing cancer. Mouth ulcers, bleeding, pain, red and white patches, lump, jaw thickening, and soreness in the mouth may also indicate the presence of oral cancer. They also found in the throat.
Smokers, alcoholics, persons with a family history of oral cancer or cancer, and persons infected with certain strains of human papilloma virus are at risks of developing oral cancer.
Your mouth can also reveal addiction to habits such as smoking and alcohol intake, kidney disease, some autoimmune diseases and even HIV.
This article does not however, substitute the professional care you should receive from your healthcare provider. Should you notice any of these signs, please contact your dentist.