8 Things Your Mouth Reveals About Your Health..... Your dentist can tell quite a bit about what's going on with your body.

Oprah.comBy Emma Haak Posted: 07/29/2015 08:10 AM EDT | Edited: 07/29/2015 12:09 PM EDT
1. What your dentist is seeing: Or in this case, smelling. You've got funky breath.
What it could mean: The most likely causes of less-than-minty-fresh breath are poor oral hygiene or gum disease, but halitosis can also signal a sinus infection, especially if your dentist still notices the odor when you exhale through your nose, says Mark Wolff, DDS, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Cardiology and Comprehensive Care at New York University College of Dentistry. It can also be caused by acid reflux -- a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found a strong association between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and bad breath -- or sleep apnea, says Ruchi Sahota, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, because people with sleep apnea are more likely to breath through their mouths at night, which can lead to dry mouth (another cause of bad breath).
Next steps: If your dentist decides that the problem isn't subpar brushing or gum disease, they'll likely refer you to your primary care physician to find the underlying cause. 

2. What your dentist is seeing: Your gums bleed during the flossing, just like they do at home.
What it could mean: When you get back on the flossing bandwagon after falling off and notice some bleeding for the first few days, that's normal, Sahota says. What's not normal is gums continuing to bleed every time you floss. "It could be an indicator that you're pre-diabetic, diabetic and don't know it or, if you've already been diagnosed with diabetes, your blood sugar isn't under control," she says. Though it's not exactly clear why diabetes and gum disease are linked (or whether there's a causal effect to the relationship), the American Academy of Periodontology says that diabetics may be more likely to develop the disease because the condition makes them more susceptible to infection.
Next steps: If you know you have diabetes and your gums keep bleeding, talk to your primary care doc about how to manage the condition better. And if your dentist is the first one to suspect diabetes, he or she will recommend you get a blood sugar test.

3. What your dentist is seeing: White patches on your tongue or inner cheek.
What it could mean: You may have a less-than-stellar immune system. Oral thrush (an overgrowth of the candida fungus, or yeast, in the mouth) can lead to creamy white patches on your tongue or inner cheeks, and it can signal an immune system that's not up to snuff. (We all have some candida in our mouths, but it's kept in check in healthy immune systems). People are much more likely to develop thrush if they're undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer or have serious immunosuppression, such as HIV, but a dip in immunity due to a cold, a course of antibiotics or using corticosteroids for conditions like asthma can make someone more vulnerable too. more

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