It is not uncommon to hear a person say that the eyes are a window into a person’s soul. And it’s true. When you look at someone in their eyes, you can tell a lot about their emotional state, their intelligence and their physical health. However, what most people do not realize is that if the eyes are a window, the mouth, and especially the teeth, are a mirror.
Physical Health Reflected in Your Mouth
When a dentist does the physical examination of your mouth, they can tell things about you, such as diseases you’re dealing with, habits you have, the general status of your health and if you have any musculoskeletal disorders that are affecting the way you look now and the way you will look in the future.
Oral tissues show whether or not you have an immune deficiency. Proof of this can be seen by the fact that the majority of HIV-infected individuals will have oral lesions at some time in their life. The appearance, severity and extent of oral lesions can show dentists and orthodontists the effect that an underlying systemic condition is having on your body.
Your teeth and oral tissues reflect your diet. If you have poor nutrition, our dentist will notice. If you are dealing with certain types of anemia, your tongue will look smooth. If your tongue is burning, you have ulcers or glossitis, this is a sign that you may have a vitamin B deficiency. A vitamin C deficiency is usually connected to swelling gums, loose teeth and bleeding gums.
Emotional Health Reflected in Your Mouth
Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, is often caused by high levels of stress. Clenching your jaw is something that you do subconsciously at night. It is something that could happen suddenly, even if you’ve never had this problem before.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that builds up in your mouth. To a large degree, your immune system is designed to fight off these bacteria. However, when you are under stress for an extended period of time, your immune system gets weaker. As a result, you are more susceptible to periodontal disease.
Oral health professionals are still learning why you get canker sores. However, a lot of research points to a connection between canker sores and stress.
Your Teeth and Your Self-Identity
The appearance of your teeth plays a large role in determining how you view yourself. When a person has even just one crooked, stained or missing tooth, they often have a lower view of themselves. The low self-esteem that results from damaged or missing teeth can affect the person in every aspect of your life from business to personal relationships.
When you look at the impact that your oral health has on your life, it is clear to understand why our experienced dentist at Implant Dentistry of Virginia, Dr. Adam M. Hogan, coined the phrase, “We treat people, not teeth!” To put it simply, your teeth reflect who you are. You may define yourself by the way that your mouth appears. Dr. Hogan understands this and realizes that he cannot effectively treat your teeth without treating you as a complete a person.