What Your Mouth Health Says About Your Overall Health

Oral health is not separate from your overall health. Symptoms that appear on the lips, tongue, gums, throat and jaw are often linked to underlying conditions such as diabetes, substance abuse issues or, less commonly, oral cancer. Treatment of the underlying disease can often relieve or prevent oral symptoms.

Here is some useful information if any of the following problems or if you just want to avoid them,

Oral thrush (candidiasis)

Thrush, or candidiasis, often appears as white patches on your tongue. A type of yeast infection, it is relatively rare in healthy adults. But it appears frequently in babies and in adults with the following risk factors:

  • Conditions including diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS or Sjogren’s syndrome
  • dentures
  • Use of antibiotics or corticosteroids (including asthma medications)
  • you are a smoker
  • frequent dry mouth

Doctors and dentists usually prescribe an antifungal medication to treat thrush. In many cases, since high levels of glucose in saliva can contribute to the occurrence of thrush, controlling your diet, blood sugar, pre-diabetes or diabetes can help prevent it.

dry mouth

Every day, as long as you are healthy, you produce two to four liters of saliva. It helps you taste and digest food, keep your mouth clean, heal mouth sores and more.

If your body stops producing enough of it, you experience discomfort, pain, and an increased risk of infection and tooth decay, among other things. While it’s normal to have a dry mouth when you’re stressed – decreased saliva production is part of your body’s fight responses – frequent dry mouth is likely a sign of an underlying problem. underlying.

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Common causes are:

  • Conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS and Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Many common medications, including blood pressure medications and antidepressants
  • Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Head or neck injury that can lead to salivary gland dysfunction
  • Tobacco

If your frequent dry mouth is one of the side effects of a medication you need to take, your doctor may prescribe a different one, which will make you more comfortable. You can also do things yourself to increase saliva production, such as sucking on sugar-free candies, chewing sugar-free gum, and drinking water frequently. In many cases, however, treating the underlying condition or even trying a new medication can provide relief.

While it’s normal to occasionally experience dry mouth when you’re stressed, frequent dry mouth is likely a sign of an underlying problem.

Mouth or jaw pain

Pain in the mouth or jaw can have many causes. This is often due to infection or tooth decay. But it can also, sometimes, signal more serious problems.

Heart disease, for example, sometimes causes pain in the lower left part of the jaw. If you experience pain there, especially if it gets worse when you exercise or exert yourself in any other way, see your doctor right away.

Even if your mouth pain is in a different area or not a major annoyance, it’s worth mentioning. »

Oral Cancer Symptoms

One of the rarest and most serious problems is oral cancer which can appear in the tongue, lips, gums, palate or elsewhere. It’s not common, but having the human papillomavirus (HPV) or a history of smoking increases your risk.

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The symptoms are as follows:

  • Leukoplakia (a type of white patch that looks like thrush but is less common)
  • difficulty swallowing or moving the tongue
  • Sore throat that does not go away
  • lump, sore, or thickening in the throat, lips, or mouth
  • ear pain
  • a change of voice

Having these symptoms doesn’t mean you definitely have mouth cancer, but if you do, you should tell your doctor right away.

Tips to keep your mouth and your mouth healthy..

The best ways to keep your mouth healthy are also the best ways to stay healthy:

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Exercise (at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week).
  • If you have diabetes, make sure your blood sugar is under control.
  • If you smoke, quit.

Of course, you can also take some measures specific to your oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day. Floss once a day. Visit the dentist at least once a year. Your mouth and the rest of your body will thank you.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice.

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