Wonders of the Oral Cavity
Although the oral cavity is thought to be area governing the mouth, bounded above by hard and soft palate and below by tongue but it is not to be forgotten that it connects to the rest of the body. Thus dentists can actually detect other systemic diseases or pathological conditions of other parts of the body via certain indications in the oral cavity.
So this is seriously serious guys, let's ponder on what the oral cavity tells you. Well, a smart dentist (doctor) knows this as a warning message!
Flat, Worn Teeth, and Headache
This indicates they might be a tooth-grinder! It is also called bruxism where they grind their teeth during sleep and most of of them are not even aware of it. It is a sign of emotional and psychological stress. So don't undergo stress big-time y'all. It's no good. It can also cause headache where muscle spasms during grinding and can radiate to head and neck. Anyway, mouth guards can be used to prevent further destruction.
Crack, Crumbling Teeth
In older people, this usually occurs due to Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) where regurgitation of acid from the stomach back to oral cavity, probably due to damage or change in the sphincters. But this can occur at any age, and in younger age it may indicate bulimia, a disorder where the sufferer vomits the food before being digested. Thus acid from the stomach can erode and disintegrate tooth structures.
Most of us must have an experience of having an ulcer or sore in the mouth, and usually caused by accidentally biting or nervous habit but when a sore persists more than 2 weeks this might be an oral cancer. Only 35% survived, but this is because of late detection. More oftenly occur in smokers and people aged over 60. So if the sore appears white or red instead of pink, better consult a dentist or a doctor.
Gums Overgrowing Teeth
When a patient is under certain medications, for example in heart diseases or drugs that suppress the immune system, it can stimulate swelling of the gum and grow over the teeth. Thus it might provide room for caries formation and periodontal diseases as good oral hygiene is hard to achieve. This requires adjustment of the dosage of drugs.
Many factors can cause dry mouth, ranging from medications to allergies and to smoking. But it might also indicate autoimmune diseases : Sjogren's syndrome and Diabetes. Sjogren's is a condition where WBC of the body attacks own salivary glands and other mucous-producing glands, while diabetes type 1 or type 2 is a metabolic disease due to high blood sugar.
White Webbing in Inner Cheeks
The thing that you don't expect to discover in the mouth is a skin disease called Lichen planus. It appears as whitish, lacy pattern with bumpy appearance. Mucous membrane of the mouth are often the first target (70%) and can also occur in other parts, such as vagina.
In elderly, rarely people would connect any diseases with dentures but aspiration pneumonia can occur due to inhalation of foreign material into lungs and airways, leading to serious inflammation which could be fatal. Therefore patients need to be advised on denture hygiene : proper brushing of denture, removed denture daily, and stored in cleansing solution.
There are many more conditions like syphillis, HIV, vitamin deficiency, that manifests symptoms in the oral cavity. Therefore, prevention is better than cure! Take good care of your oral hygiene and early detection of any disease might save your life. Don't hesitate to consult professionals :)