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4 Unexpected Issues Your Dentist May Discover During an Exam

Alaska's Dental Health Specialists

4 Unexpected Issues Your Dentist May Discover During an Exam

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Regular dental exams give your dentist a chance to identify signs of gum disease and developing cavities before they become major issues later. However, a careful check of your teeth and gums can also reveal a great deal of other information about your health and lifestyle, including early signs of serious illnesses. Below are just a few issues your dentist might discover during a visit.

What Your Dental Exam Might Reveal

1. Your Level of Stress

When under excessive stress, many people grind their teeth, even if they aren’t aware of it. Over time, steady grinding will wear them down and cause minor chips that may eventually turn into cavities. Your dentist can provide a custom-shaped mouth guard to wear while you sleep, as you take steps to reduce the stress in your life.

2. Undiagnosed Diabetes

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Diabetes makes it more difficult for your body to fight off bacterial infections, so patients often experience frequent abscesses, swelling, or sudden bone loss. If you’ve developed diabetes but haven’t yet experienced any symptoms, your dentist may be the first to know.

3. Your Risk of Heart Disease

Several studies have shown a strong link between gum disease and serious cardiovascular issues. Many researchers suspect that inflammation in the mouth can trigger similar problems elsewhere, potentially causing a heart attack or stroke.

4. Your Drinking Habits

Alcohol kills bacteria, which seems as though it should be good for your teeth, but it also inhibits the production of saliva. A dry mouth is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, so heavy drinkers often suffer more cavities than most other people.