Research shows that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth, and excessive gum problems. Some of these diseases include:
- Oral cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
Seniors are especially vulnerable to developing diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease, the risks of which increase with age. Researchers believe that symptoms of these conditions can manifest in the mouth, making dentists key in diagnosing the diseases.
Bad breath and bleeding gums could be indicators of diabetes.
A dental x-ray can show the first stages of bone loss and osteoporosis.
A sore and painful jaw could foreshadow an oncoming heart attack.