Health Conditions Your Cosmetic Dentist Can Spot

Cosmetic_DentistA lot of people consider a cosmetic dentist to be their ally when improving their smile – whether through whitening, veneers, implants or other methods – but they can also play a crucial role in maintaining your overall health. Here are four conditions a cosmetic dentist may spot that can produce a  significant impact elsewhere in your body.

1)    Periodontal Disease – One of your cosmetic dentist’s primary responsibilities is monitoring the condition of your teeth and gums, and he or she will make recommendations for treatment if there is evidence of conditions such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Periodontal disease reflects a serious inflammatory issue in your mouth – one that has been linked to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature births or low birth weight.

2)    Oral Cancer – Another aspect of your twice-yearly dental check-up is a screening for signs of oral cancer. Almost 42,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral and throat cancers each year; the 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is about 64 percent. When cancer is detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems are reduced.

3)    Crowded Teeth – Having more teeth in your mouth than fit in the space allotted, or having a number of crooked teeth, is more than just an aesthetic issue. Crowded teeth can be difficult to clean properly; you often cannot reach all teeth surfaces, so bacterial plaque will form, leading to tooth decay and gum disease, which can influence inflammatory conditions all over the body.

4)    Bad Bite/Malocclusion – If you have a severe overbite or underbite, or a pronounced cross-bite, the upper and lower parts of your jaw will not fit together properly. This can lead to a number of problems, including an impaired ability to chew your food, which can cause digestive disorders and malnutrition.

“Your mouth is not a small ‘city’ that’s walled off from the larger ‘country’ that is your body,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist who practices in central Phoenix. “The health of all parts of your body are interrelated, and your cosmetic dentist can spot and help treat dental conditions that could potentially cause trouble throughout your body.”

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