• February 21, 2016
common signs of health problems

We all know about the big dental signs of health problems: gum disease and tooth decay. Both of these dental symptoms happen to a lot of people. In fact, you have around a two thirds chance to get gum disease and over a 90 percent chance to get a cavity at some point in your life.

At Shorewood Family Dental Care we like being able to catch those kinds of problems before they become serious, but they aren’t the only things we’re able to identify early. There are a number oral health issues that can show signs of health problems, and in many cases we can catch things before they’re noticeable elsewhere!


Oral cancer is the sixth most common form of cancer in the world today. We take it upon ourselves to identify signs of oral cancer so that we can help rule out any other potential diseases. Because the ulcerous appearance of oral cancer can mimic other conditions we’ll be sure to run necessary tests or refer you to your physician for further studies.


If you’ve noticed that you have a dry mouth, receding gums, bleeding while brushing, or loosening teeth you might have gum disease, or you could very well be suffering from diabetes. Diabetes itself doesn’t cause oral health symptoms, but it does greatly increase your risks of developing gum disease.

If you’ve noticed other symptoms of diabetes such as blurred vision, fatigue, constant thirst, trouble healing cuts and bruises, or numbness in your hands and feet it’s a very good idea that you see your doctor, especially if you have gum disease symptoms as well!


Being anemic can cause paleness all over your body, and that includes the inside of your mouth too! If we notice that your mouth isn’t it’s typical shade of pink it’s possible you may be suffering from Anemia.

Other signs of anemia include fatigue, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and fainting. If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms along with a notice from us that your mouth appears to be too pale then seeing your doctor is a good idea!

GERD/Acid Reflux

Suffering from acid reflux is usually pretty obvious: the heartburn, pain, horrible taste in your mouth, and the burning sensation in your throat. But how are you supposed to know when it becomes a serious problem worth looking into?

The way we can tell at our Shorewood office is during the course of a normal checkup. Acid reflux happens when your stomach acids end up in your throat and mouth, and when they do they can quickly wear away the enamel on your teeth, just like plaque acids. If we notice that there are certain enamel wear patterns on your teeth that are excessive for your age or general dental health we can definitely point that to GERD! Here a some key tips to protecting your teeth from acid reflux.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

It isn’t that uncommon to grind your teeth at night while you’re sleeping, especially if you’re stressed. When that happens you may not even realize it until you come to see us. We can tell if you’ve been grinding your teeth because of how fast it causes excess wear on the chewing surfaces of your molars.

We can craft you a nighttime mouth guard that will cushion your teeth and prevent further wear and tear on them. It can be difficult to treat nighttime bruxism, especially if it isn’t caused directly by stress. That’s why treating the symptoms is often the best case,

Crohn’s Disease

Did you know that around 20 percent of patients with inflammatory bowel disorders like Crohn’s Disease end up with oral lesions? When we detect a problem we can quickly test for other possible causes, such as oral cancer, gum disease, or the herpes virus. If those are ruled out then we can refer you to your physician so they can help make a proper diagnosis.

Detecting Signs of Health Problems: It’s Important!

Identifying signs of health problems that go beyond just your oral health is an important part of seeing us for regular six-month checkups. If you’ve been away from the dentist for a while don’t worry – we’ll never lecture you or make you feel bad about it! We just want to have you back so we can give you the dental care you need.

Making an appointment at Shorewood Family Dental Care could be just the thing you need to help you see signs of a health problem, both in the mouth and beyond. Schedule an appointment with us today by calling 815-725-5991 or by filling out our online request form. We look forward to seeing you soon!