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How important is your routine dental check up?


Dr. Aola Imcha
Perfect Smile Dental Care, Dimapur


When a patient steps into a dental clinic, one expects to just get the tooth problem treated. It is not always so. A routine visit to the dentist for a check -up can uproot many undiagnosed systemic diseases in a patient as it is always inter- related. A careful examination of the oral cavity may reveal findings of an underlying systemic condition, by detecting a sign or symptom in your mouth and lead to early diagnosis and hence early treatments.


Here are just some of the common conditions a dentist can look out for that can affect your overall health accordingly.


Diabetes Mellitus: It is a chronic condition associated with abnormal high levels of sugar glucose in the blood. People with diabetes are most likely to develop gum diseases because they have a decreased ability to fight bacterial infections, including those in the mouth. Moreover serious gum and periodontal problems will make it more difficult for people to control their blood sugar. When a patient shows signs of bone loss, swelling and frequent gum abscesses/ bleeding that do not response to normal treatment those signs can indicate that the patient is diabetic or have other existing systemic diseases. Also, usually diabetic patients have a tendency to have dry mouth leading to more dental problems. So, a regular dental check –up is a must to maintain your oral health.


Heart diseases: Gums diseases are a very common problem in a patient that suffers from heart conditions. Your gums are very vascular and so severe swollen gums with bacteria may increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. One potential link is that inflammation in the mouth increases inflammation in other parts of the body, including the arteries. This inflammation may play a role in heart attacks or strokes. So, by actually treating your gum diseases, you may be able to lower your risk of heart attack or stroke. If you have a family history of heart disease, one should take more care to keep your gums healthy always by proper brushing, flossing and regular dental check up etc


Oral Cancer: First sign is often a small red or white spot or sore in the mouth. It can appear anywhere in your mouth, cheeks, gums, lips, tongue etc. Often it goes unnoticed because it’s painless or at the back of the mouth etc. By scheduling a regular check up, it can be detected early and undergo test to check if its precancerous lesions etc and go for further treatment accordingly.


Gastritis: Dental erosion is one of the major problems which are commonly detected in all ages. Most common sign is the erosion of the enamel on the lingual surface of maxillary anterior teeth in a patient with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Eventually the tooth becomes yellowish and sensitive because of the exposure of dentin. Dental erosion is a irreversible process and can be corrected only by restorative procedures.


Anemia: It is a condition where your red blood cell count is lower than normal and because of such a condition one common symptom is paleness of the gums, mucous membranes inside the mouth as well as palms of the hand and linings of your eyes. It can also be detected during a normal dental check up.


HIV associated diseases: Common manifestations include xerostomia, candidiasis, oral leukoplakia, herpes and severe necrotising ulcerative gingivitis are some signs and symptoms associated with the disease.


Bruxism: It is an involuntary habitual grinding of the teeth especially during sleep. Stress is indicated as one of the major causes of such conditions. A dentist can easily diagnose it during oral examination as this is characterised by grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaws that leads to wearing of the tooth, breakage, hairline fracture and eventually bone loss due to the constant trauma. Patient will also complain of sensitivity of the teeth.


These above conditions are just some of the oral manifestation of systemic conditions that can be detected during a normal dental examination. So, it’s very important to have a routine dental check-up to maintain ones oral hygiene and also for the well beings of your overall health conditions.

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