What is our mouth trying to tell us?
Our Mouth is an early warning system a window into our bodies.
Chronic disease is a health condition that lasts a long time and can affect people of all ages. Most chronic diseases can be prevented, but they are still the leading cause of poor health, including poor oral health. Eating healthy food, brushing, flossing, drinking water, and regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist helps to prevent oral disease.
Oral health is being able to smile, speak, chew, swallow, touch, and express feelings and emotions without pain, discomfort, and disease. It gives you the confidence to live, work, and play. Oral health is important for the well-being and quality of life.
Mouth health and general health have a two-way relationship. Mouth diseases can cause poor general health. And poor general health can lead to oral health problems. For example, diabetes increases the risk of gum disease and gum disease can make diabetes harder to manage. The same goes for heart disease.
We are not listening or paying attention to the signs or we are just treating the symptoms and not looking into the cause.
Risk factors for oral diseases include poor oral hygiene, an unhealthy diet, using tobacco or tobacco-like products, and drinking too much alcohol. These risk factors and others, like not getting enough sleep or physical activity, raise the risk of heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. Knowing the risk factors for chronic diseases can help you to prevent them.
So what are the symptoms, what should we look for and what is our mouth trying to tell us?
If you think skipping your routine teeth cleaning is no big deal, think again. Research has shown a direct link between oral health and our overall health. Mouth issues can develop and progress quickly, most people don’t notice them until it’s too late.
Dental professionals are not only concerned with fixing and cleaning teeth, we check to see if your gums are healthy, check for abnormalities that may otherwise go unnoticed and could be a sign of larger health issues. Like mouth breathing. It could save you pain, time, and money in the future. Keeping consistent with your bi-yearly dental cleanings and checkups could save your life.
So what are the symptoms, what should we look for and what is our mouth trying to tell us?
One in three people with diabetes doesn’t even know they have it. That can be very dangerous because untreated diabetes can threaten your heart, eyes, kidneys, mouth, and more. Oral symptoms could be among the first signs that you need to be screened for diabetes.
These symptoms include:
Bad breath/fruity-smelling breath – people with diabetes may develop a sweet and fruity odor on their breath as their body is struggling to purge.
Sore gums or teeth – if your gums are sore, swollen, or bleeding it could be a sign of gum disease, which is common in diabetic patients. If you are slow to heal after a burn or a cut, it could also be a sign of diabetes.
Dry mouth – you could have excessive thirst, soreness, canker sores, and increased tooth decay. Smoking makes this problem even worse. It’s important to see a dentist regularly because a dentist’s trained eye can spot dryness in the mouth before symptoms even begin.
While dry mouth can be a sign of disease, it can also be caused by things such as stress, some medications, and cancer treatments. If you’re suffering from any of these conditions, there are things you can do to alleviate the symptoms.
If you don’t know the signs of oral cancer and don’t seek treatment, it can quickly progress and become life-threatening. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
White or red discoloration in the mouth – if you notice any change of color inside the mouth, including the gums, it could be a sign of oral cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This is especially prevalent in older males.
Sores, lumps, swelling, or thick patches – these symptoms can be found anywhere in the mouth or throat. Accompanying issues include trouble moving your jaw or tongue, difficulty swallowing, chewing, or speaking, a sore throat that doesn’t heal, and discomfort wearing dentures due to swelling.
How To Treat Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Sipping small amounts of pH balanced water during the day will help keep your mouth moist. . Avoid drinking acidic beverages (carbonated drinks, wine, and fruit juices) stick with water, especially while eating. Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candies may also help; if you get gum or candies that have the first active ingredient of xylitol, it may even help prevent tooth decay.
Oil-based lip balms or ointments with Vitamin E will soothe dry lips, and using humidifiers in your home (especially at night) can provide relief. There are also over-the-counter saliva moisturizers available. If you are still experiencing dry mouth after trying the above treatments, you could try mouth taping so you don’t breathe through your mouth.
Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Cavities happen when our mouth is acidic When many people think of acid reflux or GERD, they think of heartburn. However, untreated GERD can lead to oral health problems and serious health issues, including cancer.
Tooth erosion – the stomach acid found in those with chronic reflux frequently leads to tooth erosion – even without heartburn or other obvious symptoms. If your dentist notices your tooth enamel is weakening or eroding, it could be a sign of something more.
The stomach acid from repeated vomiting can severely erode tooth enamel. Purging can also trigger swelling in the mouth, throat, and salivary glands as well as bad breath. Anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders can also cause serious nutritional shortfalls that can affect the health of your teeth.
Pre Mature Birth
If you’re pregnant and have gum disease, you could be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. Underlying inflammation or infections may be to blame. Pregnancy and its related hormonal changes also appear to worsen gum disease. Talk to your obstetrician or dentist to find out how to protect yourself and your baby.
People with anemia have a lower red blood cell count than normal, and their bodies may not get enough oxygen-rich blood supply. If you know you have anemia, be sure you are breathing through your nose. When you mouth breath you get 18% less oxygen than when you breathe through your nose.
Sore, smooth, and/or swollen tongue – these signs may be accompanied by the tongue appearing more pale pink than normal.
Paleness of the gums, tongue, or mouth – if the tissue in your mouth is abnormally pale it could be a sign that your body isn’t producing enough red blood cells.
The immune system is designed to protect our bodies from disease. However, in those suffering from autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body by mistake. Some autoimmune disorders include inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjögren’s syndrome. Any of the following symptoms could be a sign that something isn’t right within your body
The 4 million Americans who have Sjögren’s syndrome are more prone to have oral health problems, too. With Sjögren’s, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks tear ducts and saliva glands, leading to chronically dry eyes and dry mouth (called xerostomia). Saliva helps protect teeth and gums from bacteria that cause cavities and gingivitis. So a perpetually dry mouth is more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
Changes in the tongue or lower lip – if you notice your tongue or lower lip is swollen or enlarged, or that your tongue has taken on a dry, cobblestone appearance, your body could be telling you there is a bigger problem.
Difficulty swallowing, change in speech and/or taste, and mouth dryness – Autoimmune diseases can affect the saliva glands. If enough saliva isn’t being produced it could make it difficult to swallow
Bumps or ulcers in the mouth – raised bumps that look like cobblestones on the gums may or may not be painful, and create inflammation related to an autoimmune disease. Small, painful reoccurring ulcers in the mouth (also known as canker sores) can be another indicator of larger health problems.
Jaw swelling and/or pain – this can be a sign of inflammatory arthritis in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), which affects about 50% of people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Kidney disease affects your body’s ability to properly filter waste and toxins and can lead to gradual and permanent loss of kidney functions over time. If left untreated, it can be fatal. People with diabetes and high blood pressure are especially at higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
Bad breath – As your kidneys start to lose their ability to filter wastes from your body, your breath will take on the scent of urine. If you notice a scent that smells like fish or ammonia on your breath, it might be time to see a doctor.
Your tongue is another indicator of disease in the body
White patches or plaques can be a symptom of oral thrush, an infection caused by an overgrowth of the Candida yeast. It’s not super common, but people who have diabetes, dry mouth, or a depressed immune system are more at risk.
Other signs of the infection include redness, difficulty swallowing, or cracking at the corners of your mouth. If you develop thrush, your physician may prescribe an anti-fungal medication.
Any of the above symptoms could be a sign that something isn’t right within your body. See a professional figure out what might be going on you will need to be your own health care advocate and a bit of a detective to find the cause and or diagnosis.
Healthy eating is an important way to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and other oral health problems. Healthy eating includes eating more fruits and vegetables and limiting food and drinks with added sugar. It also helps prevent other chronic diseases including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Eating different helps heal the body food can be medicine.
Besides health behaviors such as what foods we choose to eat and whether we get enough exercise, there are other factors that play a role in our health. These include income, education, housing, employment, and community. For example, getting an education makes it easier to find a job and afford healthy foods and Insurance benefits as well as dental care. These factors are called the social determinants of health. To improve the health of people and communities we have to look at new and better ways to deal with the factors that impact our health.
How to keep your mouth, yourself, and your Family—Healthy
The best ways to keep your mouth healthy are also the best ways to keep yourself healthy:
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise (at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 3 days of the week).
- Control the pH of your mouth
- Drink lots of water
- Brush two times a day
- Floss or water floss once a day
- See the dentist at least once a year.
Your mouth, and the rest of your body, and your family will thank you.
I feel empowered to take charge of my health care, No one cares. more about me than me. I have used our health care system for the first time in my 50 years of life for something major. It leaves a lot to be desired. I have never been more scared and felt so alone with so much support having to make tough decisions about life. Having cancer puts your life in perspective. I wish I knew what I know now. This is why I share. If I can help even one person not go through what I did it would be worth it.
I am a BURST ambassador for some of the products I use at home to keep my mouth healthy go to www.burstoralcare.com
Get a BURST Sonic Toothbrush, water flosser, mouth probiotics, and more at https://bit.ly/BURST411
Use my ambassador Promo Code 5ZMZBR for a discount