In recent years, doctors and medical researchers have found more and more evidence that your digestion is closely linked to your overall health. In fact, your gut health directly affects your immune system, brain, mental health, and more. And, while many people don’t think about it, digestion actually begins in your mouth, which is just one more good reason to see a dentist in Chaska regularly. Keep reading to learn how oral health problems can indicate bigger digestive issues and how a dentist can help you spot these issues early on.
Indications of Digestive Problems In the Mouth
Here are just a few examples of oral health issues that may point to digestive or general health problems:
- Bleeding gums – Bleeding gums are also referred to as gingivitis, which means “inflamed gums.” When a dentist sees bleeding gums, they know there’s a very good chance that there’s inflammation elsewhere in the body, including further down the line in the digestive tract.
- Oral candida or thrush – This overgrowth of fungus occurs in the soft-tissue lining of the oral cavity (tongue, throat, cheeks, etc.) It can indicate an immune imbalance in the digestive track/intestine or may be a sign of a zinc deficiency from poor digestion.
- Red patches on your gums or cheeks – If someone has red, flat, painful patches of tissue in their mouth, they may have an inability to absorb B12, which is one of the complications of digestive problems like celiac disease, Crohn’s, atrophic gastritis, and pernicious anemia.
- Enamel defects – The enamel on your permanent teeth develops over a period of several years in childhood. To form healthy enamel, you must be able to properly digest a wide array of vitamins and minerals. Since celiac disease prevents good digestion, it can lead to weak, discolored, or underdeveloped tooth enamel that greatly increases the risk of cavities.
How Can Seeing a Dentist Improve Your Digestive and Overall Health?
Since the mouth and body are closely connected, a dentist in Chaska can often spot early signs of health problems in your mouth. By discussing their findings with you, they can alert you to possible gut imbalances or other digestive issues early on. That allows you to schedule an appointment with your medical doctor for an evaluation and possible treatment, potentially preventing those problems from progressing into chronic diseases.
Ultimately, good digestion starts in your mouth. By scheduling regular dental visits, a dentist can closely monitor you to keep your smile and overall health in great shape.
About the Author
For many years, families in the Chaska area have improved their oral health at Chaska Dental Center. With years of experience and advanced training, Dr. Thomas Meschke and Dr. Aaron Swingdorf are committed to comprehensive dental care, and they aim to improve patients’ overall well-being by helping them achieve better oral health. If you have any questions, Dr. Meschke and Dr. Swingdorf can be contacted via Chaska Dental Center’s website.