Oral Exams: Open Your Mouth and Say Ahhh

Oral Exams & Diagnosis

Checkups are an essential tool for your health!

There’s a lot we can learn from looking into your mouth during routine oral exams. Not only is the oral cavity a window into your overall health, but it’s also a sort of early warning system for other conditions. Your mouth helps diagnose everything from malnutrition to more severe diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

It used to be part of every visit to the family doctor to “Open your mouth and say, ahhh.” Today, while physicians have highly sophisticated ways of testing for disease, the mouth remains one of your body’s most sensitive indicators.

 

Oral Exams & Malnutrition

If you’re not getting enough Vitamin C or Vitamin B complex in your diet, there are some clues we might notice. Often, tiny cracks in the lips are the first warning signs. If you suffer from insufficient iron, you may experience a burning sensation on the tongue. Furthermore, a painful red tongue is a tip-off to a lack of Vitamin B12. All these conditions may be detected during oral exams.

 

Other Conditions

Routine dental exams could help you get the drop on diabetes, which affects some 600,000 new Americans every year. Early indicators are a sore tongue and tender gums. That is why, more often than not, the dentist—not the physician—makes the first diagnosis.

Additionally, cancer screening is an essential feature of oral exams. We look for things like white or red patches, sores that won’t heal, or unusual growths or lumps. The earlier diagnosis occurs, the better.

 

And Good New Too!

Mouths can even signal a celebration. Pregnancy causes significant changes in the mother-to-be’s gums, so it may be possible to confirm the good news!

So you see, your mouth can tell us a lot about your health, without saying a word!

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