The Dentists at Florida Dental Centers in Clearwater, FL, Help Their Patients Stay Healthy
In addition to cavities and gum disease, dentists can uncover significant clues about their patients’ overall well-being. That’s because dentists often see their patients more regularly than physicians — typically twice a year or more frequently — allowing them to play a vital role not only as oral health care providers, but also as front-line health care providers. At Florida Dental Centers in Clearwater, FL, we believe in establishing trusted and lasting partnerships with our patients with a goal to promote good health.
Traditionally, the practice of dentistry and medicine were viewed as separate and distinct. Today, however, more and more dentists and physicians are working together to protect their patients’ health. For instance, during a routine dental exam, a dentist at Florida Dental Centers in Clearwater, Florida, can potentially discover several key health issues in early stages (when there are generally more treatment options available) and promptly refer the patient to a physician for follow-up, if necessary.
Some patients are surprised to learn that dentists can sometimes identify:
- Heart attack warning signs – A panoramic dental X-ray can reveal a dangerous blockage in a carotid artery.
- Sleep apnea – Dentists can often identify small indentations in a patient’s tongue that line up with his or her teeth. This is a hallmark sign of mouth breathing during sleep.
- Thyroid problems – Many dentists perform a head and neck examination, which can detect lumps and other abnormalities in the thyroid, lymph nodes, and salivary glands.
- Diabetes – A dry mouth or “sugary” breath, which often occur along with diabetes, can make a patient more prone to developing cavities.
- Gastroesophageal reflux and bulimia – Both conditions can lead to stomach acid in the mouth, which can wear away protective tooth enamel and cause other problems that only dentists can see.
In addition to taking good care of your mouth, teeth, and gums, staying on top of your overall health is one more good reason to see a dentist regularly. If you’d like to schedule a check-up, contact Florida Dental Centers in Clearwater, FL, today. We’ll help you achieve a healthier smile – and a healthier you.