As you drive to your summer dental visit, you find yourself thinking of all the times you were “just too tired” to brush your teeth. Now that you are in your dentist’s chair, you are thoroughly convinced that you have a handful of cavities and need a root canal. So, you are surprised when your dentist suggests undergoing a blood glucose test with your primary doctor due to some abnormal symptoms that could point to diabetes.
While your routine checkups play a crucial role in finding dental issues, like tooth decay and gum disease, they can also lead to early intervention and treatment for non-dental issues. Your dentist in Lansdale shares four health screenings they can provide you with.
According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 53,260 American adults will be diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer in 2020. Fortunately, the survival rate is roughly 85% with early intervention. In fact, the rates have been declining over the last 30 years for that very reason! Therefore, your dentist will check for bumps or sores during your exam that could be a result of oral cancer. These abnormal symptoms are often found on your lips, tongue, or the roof of your mouth. If your dentist does notice any of these signs, then they will offer you a complete oral cancer screening.
Although osteoporosis is most commonly found in post-menopausal women, it can affect people of all ages and genders. However, this condition often goes undiagnosed since the symptoms can be mild or attributed to another health condition. Therefore, your dentist takes time during your exam to look for signs of osteoporosis, like loose teeth. From there, they will request an X-ray to see if there is any thinning of your jawbone. If that is the case, then your dentist will refer you to your primary care physician for further testing and treatment.
Clenching or grinding your teeth can be a result of stress. However, in conjunction with other conditions, like headaches and daytime sleepiness, it could be a symptom of sleep apnea. This dangerous condition causes patients to experience loud snoring and brief periods of not breathing. This can last for years before a patient is diagnosed, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Therefore, your dentist will conduct a thorough exam before referring you to a specialist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Periodontitis is a gum disease that results in loose teeth, bleeding gums, and bad breath. In addition to being a serious condition that requires immediate treatment, researchers have found that those with diabetes are at a higher risk for periodontitis. Therefore, your dentist may recommend visiting your primary care physician for a blood glucose test if they see symptoms of diabetes or periodontitis.
Although your dentist uses your bi-yearly checkups to ensure your smile is in pristine condition, they also play a crucial role in an early diagnosis and treatment plan for non-dental issues. Therefore, make sure to view your routine visits as a way to keep both your oral and overall health in tip-top shape!
About the Practice
With eight dentists on staff and a hand-selected team of talented professionals to support them, Brookwood Dental Associates is ready to help you and your family with a comprehensive array of services. At their state-of-the-art office, each member of the staff is dedicated to using their extensive training and experience to deliver world-class care. If it is time to schedule your bi-yearly checkup, then contact their team through their website or by phone at 215-368-2424.