Health Watch: Many conditions manifest in the mouth - WRBL

Health Watch: Many conditions manifest in the mouth

Posted: Updated:
A 10 year study finds too many Americans lack access to preventative dental care. Dental experts say skipping out on the care may mean missing certain medical conditions that manifest in the mouth.

Kellie Alexander has been a dental hygienist with Dr. Henry Cook’s office for 11 years. She’s not surprised at the study’s findings. The 10 year study found 23 to 43 percent of Americans did not receive preventative dental care.

Alexander says as a dental hygienist, she’s the first line of defense when it comes to being able to spot certain conditions

“I’m actually looking at the entire mouth. The soft tissue, the hard pallet, your gums, your lips, everything inside the mouth, not just your teeth, everything that surrounds the teeth, that attaches the teeth to the bone,” said Alexander.

Many conditions manifest in the mouth including gastrointestinal diseases, hematologic disorders and other conditions.

“HIV is one of them. Diabetes,Leukemia.”

Dentists often look for oral cancers and signs of osteoporosis in women. Bone loss in the jaw could mean bone loss elsewhere. Enamel loss could signal acid reflux.  Alexander suggests a preventative dental care regiment that includes x rays, and regular teeth cleaning, an appointment that could shine the spotlight on what lurks inside.

Alexander says let’s not forget preventative care when it comes to gum disease. Bushing in the morning and before bed, flossing daily to remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line, and rinsing with a mouth wash are solid tips.

Teresa Whitaker

In addition to co-anchoring the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights, Teresa serves as the Healthwatch reporter for WRBL. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Opelika Circle K robbed

    PHOTOS: Opelika Circle K robbed

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:30 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:30:44 GMT
    Opelika police release images showing Thursday's robbery at a Circle K.Opelika police release images showing Thursday's robbery at a Circle K.

    Opelika police hope someone will recognize robbery suspects and call authorities.

    Opelika police hope someone will recognize robbery suspects and call authorities.

  • Columbus police searching for armed robbery suspect

    Columbus police searching for armed robbery suspect

    Sunday, July 27 2014 6:09 PM EDT2014-07-27 22:09:17 GMT
    Columbus police need your help identifying a man who they say robbed two businesses Saturday evening. They say a black man was wearing all black but no mask when he pulled a silver handgun on the cashier at Weems Food Mart on Weems road just around 7 p.m. Saturday night.
    Columbus police need your help identifying a man who they say robbed two businesses Saturday evening. They say a black man was wearing all black but no mask when he pulled a silver handgun on the cashier at Weems Food Mart on Weems road just around 7 p.m. Saturday night.
  • Scott Hill hired as President and CEO of Columbus Regional

    Scott Hill hired as President and CEO of Columbus Regional

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:02 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:02:24 GMT
    Scott Hill, has been named the President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Regional Health, the company announced Thursday. 
    Scott Hill, has been named the President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Regional Health, the company announced Thursday. 
Watch Live Watch Live Religious services RBC Canadian Open (Sat & Sun)
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.