ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Oral Health Predicts General Health

Updated on November 20, 2012

Healthy Teeth Say Alot About Overall Health

Source

I recalled western movies as a kid where the price and sale of a horse was dependent upon the inspection of its oral health. This was done for good reason and still practiced today were the health of any mammals mouth is a good indicator of overall health. The beauty of being mindful of this information, you don’t have to be a doctor or dentist to understand when self-inspecting your own mouth if something does not appear or feel normal. Any abnormal signs and symptoms should be something to monitor for the short-term. However, if oral abnormalities don’t clear within a short period of time get a dental checkup. My rule of thumb is 3-7 days if the discomfort or abnormality does not subside, but instead appears to be worsening.

Let’s start at the gums. They should appear reddish or coral pink and should not be pale, purple or dark red. And the gums around each tooth should be of smooth yet firm membrane tissue that equally fills the space between each tooth and covers the lining of your jaw bone where the tooth’s roots reside inside the jaw bone. If a healthy gum line does not appear to be the case upon examination in the mirror, you could lack certain vitamins and minerals within the diet, good dental hygiene, etc. If the health and integrity of the gums and tongue, including teeth is not maintained, then risk of germ pathogens can also spread illness and disease anywhere throughout the body. And if you have a chronic oral condition that’s gone too long without treatment you risk disease (gingivitis-periodontal “gum” disease, tooth decay, cancer etc.) that’s capable of spreading throughout the body.

Next, let’s look at the basic foundation of your teeth. Your teeth are not cemented into the jaw bone like a mortared building foundation. Instead they are held in the jaw bone by-way of thin strands of live connective tissue (periodontal ligaments). These ligaments allow your teeth to move under pressure when chewing in order to prevent cracking or tooth loss under normal wear and tear. It is the health of these ligaments that hold the teeth in place in the jaw socket and surrounding gum lines that is indicative of good dental hygiene and healthy tissue. And when your teeth begin to crack and fall out, this should be of great concern for the health of these unseen tissue ligaments.

Also when the gum lines recede due to poor dental hygiene this means that germs and bacteria can attack the tooth under the gum line area and then can reach the root of the tooth and periodontal tooth ligaments. When too many of these ligaments are weakened and the root system is under attack, not only are the teeth at risk, but also the jaw bone and cranial cavities where harmful germ pathogens can enter the body.

This is why even today a person buying a horse looks at the health of the horse’s gum’s and teeth. If teeth are missing and/or gum line appears unhealthy, the value of the horse is less than a horse with a full set of healthy teeth and gums. This is because one could make the comparison; the more teeth missing likely correlate to a shortened life span, or a life that will require more cost to make preventative dental-health repairs.

Now let’s consider the tongue. Just like the teeth and gums, the tongue is no different in predicting internal health to varying degrees. The tongue should be reddish pink, with healthy appearing papillae (uniform bumps and valley’s on tongue surface) and not appear to be overly smooth, or coated with some discolored film. After the gums the tongue is the next important area of oral health inspection and is the second most likely area for bacteria, germs and pathogens to reside and infiltrate the internal body. It is when germs and bacteria are also able to find their way into our circulatory systems through damaged tissues (e.g., mouth tongue-gum sores etc.) we should be greatly concerned.

Changes within the tongues appearance could occur from the internal body or external environment and “maybe” indicative of health problems. For example a swollen tongue could be the result of general infection, medications, strep throat, allergies, Leukemia, pituitary gland tumor, Hypothyroidism, Lymphangioma. Or the swollen tongue could simply widen on its own from one that has no teeth, or wears dentures. But if your tongue is severely swollen you could also have an anemia problem or vitamin B-12 deficiency. In any case a swollen tongue is caused from an imbalance of nutrients or an immune reaction attempting to resolve an infection, or correct a serious disease.

If your tongue appears white, this could be simply the result of dehydration. Or if you smoke or drink alcohol the same condition of your tongue can be the cause of this condition. If your tongue appears overly red (red tongue) this is a warning sign of nutritional deficiencies. Be sure to focus on balancing essential food groups into your diet (especially fruits, vegetables and other fiber sources).

It should also be noted too much stress and hormonal changes can cause a harmless condition called geographical tongue. This is where bright red patches scattered on top of the tongue appears map like often associated with some burning sensation. This is something that can come and go, but if you experience a taste problem; this could also be caused by certain medications or nerve damage. Although geographical tongue may be considered harmless, it is the psychosomatic (mind/body) stress connection (less hormonal) where anxiety and depression can cause other illness that should be of concern. Geographical tongue should be a warning sign indicator that if not attended to can make the body ill. And if the mind or body is ill too long as noted by geographical tongue, it is possible chronic disease could follow.

The best prevention if you have any of these oral signs and symptoms is to set up an appointment with a dentist to better understand the health of your teeth, gums and tongue which directly relates to the internal health of your body.

For centuries and even today veterinarians and equestrians determine productivity, health and longevity of a horse’s worth by equine oral inspection. Humans should take away a huge teaching point here. That is, when your body begins to become unhealthy, it will likely present the first signs and symptoms of ill-health appearing first through unhealthy gums and/or tongue and teeth.

There are other outwardly and obvious appearance attributes that can determine overall good health, i.e., unhealthy hair, skin, toenails and eyes. However, there is nothing more reveling of our overall good health than can be seen through a daily oral inspection.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)