More Than Just Teeth: 5 Health Conditions Your Dentist Screens For

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Person with dentist in HolbrookYour oral health has a huge impact on the rest of your body. When you visit your dentist’s office, they’re checking much more than simply the state of your teeth. Poor oral health has been linked to serious systemic conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Your dentist in Holbrook is uniquely qualified to screen you for a number of ailments, the five most common of which you’ll find in this article.


Treating More Than Just Teeth

Dentists are specially trained to detect and treat conditions in your mouth that may affect the rest of your body. They are able to see correlations between your mouth and your systemic health that other practitioners may not pick up on. Your dentist will regularly check you for the five following conditions.


Oral Cancer

During each of your appointments, your dentist will screen you for signs of oral cancer. What may feel like simply a white or red bump or sore in your mouth can actually be cancerous. Regular visits to your dentist will ensure that these are caught early and that you are always aware of the state of your health.


Sleep Apnea

Many dentists will have you fill out a short questionnaire to gauge the likelihood that you have sleep apnea. Often, people with sleep apnea will grind their teeth at night and have high blood pressure. Your dentist will check you for signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and may recommend that you undergo a sleep study if they deem you to be at high risk.



There is a strong correlation between gum disease and diabetes. If your dentist notices that you have rapidly advancing periodontal disease, it may be a sign that you have uncontrolled diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you may want to have your blood sugar levels tested.


TMJ Problems

If you experience popping, clicking, or soreness in your jaw, it may be a problem with your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. If your dentist suspects that you may be experiencing problems, such as tooth clenching or grinding, because of your TMJ, they may suggest making a night guard for you to wear to protect your teeth.


Your dentist may be the first to detect osteoporosis, or bone deterioration, in your mouth. If your teeth are becoming loose or you have a denture that has started to slide, it may be a sign that your jawbone is thinning. If your dentist notices this, you may want to have a physician check you for osteoporosis.

If you think you may be experiencing any of the above, let your dentist know at your next appointment. A thorough screening can do wonders for disease prevention. Your next dental appointment could put you on the path to optimal health.


About the Author

Dr. Teresa Salem loves giving her patients the health and smiles that they deserve. Since graduating from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, she has been committed to continuing her education and providing the absolute best care possible. From dental implants to Invisalign, Dr. Salem offers comprehensive care to meet the needs of her patients in one comfortable location. If you’d like to learn more about how she can help keep you healthy, send her an email or call Pearl Dental Associates at (781) 460-6298.

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