Although it may be difficult to believe, your mouth reveals a lot about your health. Merely a look inside, or a saliva swab is enough to tell your doctor about what is going on inside your body.
Your mouth is a window into what is going on inside your body. In fact a lot of oral conditions cause oral signs and symptoms which make them easier to detect. Hence, the mouth could be considered a helpful vantage point to detect early signs of diseases that affect the entire body such as AIDS or Diabetes.
The Academy of General Dentistry says that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms.
Here is how oral health helps in diagnostics:
- Cortisol levels in saliva are used to test for stress responses in newborn children.
- Certain cancer markers are also detectable in saliva.
- Routine saliva testing can also measure illegal drugs, environmental toxins, hormones and antibodies indicating hepatitis or HIV infection
- Saliva is also one of your body’s main defenses against disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. It contains antibodies that attack viral pathogens, such as the common cold and HIV.
- Saliva also protects you against disease-causing bacteria. It contains enzymes that destroy bacteria in different ways, by degrading bacterial membranes
- fragments of certain bone-specific proteins may be useful in monitoring bone loss in women and men prone to osteoporosis
It is believed that poor oral health can also cause poorly controlled diabetes, cardiovascular problems and preterm birth, although a more research is needed in this field. Poor oral health could mean oral thrush and dental plaque.
Hence, Practice good oral hygiene every day. Remember, you are making an investment in your overall health, not just for now, but for the future.