"Simple" Oral Issues That May Signify Serious Health Conditions

21 August 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Many oral diseases are just that – diseases of the mouth. However, there are oral conditions that are symptoms of more serious underlying health conditions. In fact, some of these oral issues may not seem that serious on the surface. Here are four examples of such conditions:

Halitosis (Bad Breath)

Bad breath, especially one that doesn't go away despite your high-level oral hygiene, may be due to kidney disease. One of the normal functions of kidneys is to remove waste products from your system. When a kidney fails, the waste products (mainly urea) accumulate in different parts of your body including your saliva. The urea, which is broken down into ammonia, is the cause of this bad breath. Ammonia smells like urine or fish to some people.

Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

There are several causes of a dry mouth condition, including smoking and dehydration. However, it is also an early symptom of diabetes. Diabetes leads to dry mouth because it thickens the blood vessels in the salivary glands. When this happens, the production of saliva reduces, and your mouth becomes extremely dry. At the same time, urine production increases if you are diabetic. The increase is as a result of your body seeking to eliminate the extra glucose in your blood; this also makes your mouth dry. Other diseases that may cause your mouth to dry include HIV/AIDS and Sjögren's syndrome (an autoimmune disorder).

Loose Teeth or Teeth Loss

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is characterized by loss of bone density. As you know, your teeth are anchored in your jawbones. If osteoporosis reduces your jawbone's density, the teeth won't be as firmly anchored as they were before the disease. As a result, your teeth may become loose or even fall off. In fact, this is one of the earliest signs of the disease that usually doesn't have other symptoms.

Recurrent Mouth Sores

Finally, you should also be wary of oral sores or ulcers that don't go away or disappear but keep recurring. Such sores have been linked to oral cancer, especially in the aged. Such sores can also signify that your immunity is low or that you are stressed. Therefore, it's best to consult your dentist for a professional diagnosis.

It's clear from the above examples that oral diseases aren't always what they seem to be. This is one of the reasons you shouldn't always rely on home treatments, especially for diseases that persist for several days. You may be treating a symptom while the real disease is festering undetected.  For more information, talk to a professional like Stephen J Vanyo DMD PA.