By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC, and Annah Gillette
Just like your eyes are the window to your soul, your mouth says a lot about you too. “Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body,” says Anthony Lacopino, dean of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry and a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “What we see in the mouth can have a significant effect on other organ systems and processes in the body. And the reverse is also true: Things that are going on systemically in the body can manifest in the mouth.”
Here is a short list of signs you should be aware of:
1.- Stress-clenching your jaw can lead to headaches. Grinding your teeth at night is a common sign of stress.
2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)- disintegrating teeth because of stomach acid coming up and dissolving them.
3. Oral Cancer- Sores that don’t go away in a week or two. If a sore becomes red or white, it’s a good idea to get it checked out.
4. Medication problems- this can be indicated by gums growing over your teeth.
5. Dry mouth- can be an indicator of many things from dehydration, allergies, smoking, and new medications. Lack of saliva can be early warning signs of some diseases.
6. Inflamed or bleeding gums – if you have diabetes, you may also be suffering from some form of gum disease.
Anything unusual should be brought to your doctor’s attention. Routine dental checkups can help you keep good records and monitor your dental health. When we start to think of the mouth as an immune bacteria interface, just like our gut, then we start to see that bleeding gums might be a way that our relationship with microbes is a little bit out of whack. When we start to think of our oral cavity and our mouth, we see that it is the home of many bacteria. There are over 600 species and thousands of different types of bugs. We really should be trying to harbor the overall health of this ecology of the mouth instead of just trying to remove harmful bugs. Because if we think of disease as just being the invasion or infection of harmful bacteria, that’s a tiny part of the story. With many dental conditions, we see that the invasion of the harmful bacteria is the last bit of the story. Bleeding gums is part of the steps on the road to when we form gum disease.
Your mouth is a sign of what’s happening in your body. If your gums are bleeding, try and think about what other systemic conditions that you might have that it bleeding gums may be indicative of. Can something in your mouth be linked to something in your gut? There could be a bad bacteria, fungus or even a parasite in your gut trying to tell you something. If you have food allergies, or you have skin rashes or asthma or irritable bowel syndrome, that’s your body telling you in two distinct places that things are off balance, so take bleeding gums as a message that there’s too much inflammation in your body and something is not quite right. Start going through the steps that calm everything down in the long-term. And when we start to fix our health, the gut is always the 1st place we start!
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Medical disclaimer: Our test kits and all tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.