Your mouth says a lot — and we mean that both literally and figuratively. Because while you might think your teeth and gums have little to nothing to do with your lungs or heart, they can actually show early warning signs of serious health conditions across your entire body, from lung cancer to heart disease to dementia. Read on to learn what different types of teeth problems might mean.More
Severe gum disease, aka periodontitis, can be an early sign of type 2 diabetes, according to a February 2017 study. Researchers looked at over 300 middle-aged adults and found those with severe gum disease — roughly a quarter of participants — were at a higher risk for diabetes because they were more likely to be overweight, with an average BMI of 27 or higher. Nearly one in five of those with periodontitis had previously undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, compared with 10 percent of those with mild to moderate gum disease and 8.5 percent with no gum disease. What's the connection? People with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.
If you ace oral health but suddenly start noticing that your gums are inflamed and bleeding, it may be a sign you're pregnant. According to the American Pregnancy Association, gingivitis is common during pregnancy because the hormonal changes increase blood flow to the gum tissue, causing your gums to be more sensitive, irritable, and swollen. What's more, these new hormones can thwart your body's ability to fight bacteria, increasing your risk for plaque buildup.