What can my teeth tell me about my health?

Your teeth are the window to your body and can actually say a lot about your overall health. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.

Oral health touches every aspect of our lives but is often taken for granted. Be sure to practice good oral health to help your overall health.
Your teeth and mouth in general are a mirror of what is going on in the body overall and a healthy mouth is reflective of total body wellness. Inflammed gums, worn down teeth, dry mouth, bad breath, ulcers and swelling can be warning sign of sytemic problems including diabetes, heart disease, digestive and adrenal disorders and even cancer. 
Your teeth and gums are a window into your health. Some diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS first show up as dental symptoms. Bulimia, an eating disorder that involves induced vomiting, can wear away tooth enamel. Teeth that are ground down are an indication that you may be grinding your teeth, often at night, and that can be a stress symptom. Perhaps the most significant connection is between serious gum disease, called periodontitis, and chronic illnesses including heart disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia. Also, pregnant women with periodontitis are at increased risk of having a baby born prematurely (too soon). 
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Your teeth, in addition to helping with a wide range of tasks and with chewing, are also a very clear marker of your health. If your gums are inflamed, your teeth are falling out, or your teeth are getting ground like fresh pepper from wear and tear, then those problems can affect and reflect the health and wellbeing of your entire body.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.