Hate the dentist? Well, maybe you should bite the bullet and hit the chair – it looks like they can help find more than just cavities when they’re poking around in there. Here are seven things your dentist can detect while you’re staring at the ceiling listening to Sade.
1. You’re pregnant. - Small red growths on the gums and between teeth, pregnancy tumors, show up in about 5% of pregnant women. They’re not dangerous, but may cause increased sensitivity in the mouth, and some people need extra dental care while pregnant.
2. Light pink pale gums can be a sign of anemia.- Dr. Sally Cram, a periodontist in Washington, D.C., says, “When people are iron deficient, their gums can lose the normal red color and turn pink or even white.”
3. Many antidepressants cause dry mouth, which can lead to cavities.-SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft commonly have this effect. While these drugs can help people manage mental health issues, some decrease the flow of saliva, which acts like a protective agent for teeth.
4. You're stressed out or anxious. - Dr. Stuart Froum, the president of the American Academy of Periodontists, says that during medical school exams at NYU, he gets a steady flow of patients complaining of sensitive gums and teeth, because of stress. Higher levels of cortisol -- stress hormones -- are associated with inflammation, and also lead to gum disease, which can cause tooth and bone loss.
5. Frequent infections called abscesses that are a common side effect of diabetes. -People who are having trouble managing their blood sugar are especially vulnerable to these infections, and the inflammation abscesses cause can in turn make it harder to control blood sugar – creating a nasty cycle.
6. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and Crohn's disease can cause sore red spots in the mouth. - These spots may be tender or painful and can lead to mouth ulcers, which can be dangerous, but the good news is that these spots usually respond to treatment.
(Source: Yahoo! News)