6 Things your mouth can tell you about your health

When it comes to oral hygiene, most of us don't think much past the usual regular teeth brushing and whitening. After all, who doesn't want to have a great smile and fresh breath? But if you pay closer attention, you could find clear signs of the state of your overall health too. Below, check out 6 things your mouth can tell you about your health:

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1. Bad breath: What you eat isn't the only thing that can affect how your breath smells! Bad breath usually stems from a buildup of bacteria, which is a sign you need to brush and floss more thoroughly. If that doesn't work, a medical condition, like a respiratory disease, gastric reflux, or kidney failure, could be causing it so make sure to check with a doctor.

2. Dry mouth: Many kinds of medications, including anti-histamines and anti-depressants, can cause dry mouth. But if you also suffer from cracked lips or mouth sores, it could be sign of an autoimmune disease.

3. Sharp tooth pain: A sudden and sharp pain when you bite down or chew probably indicates a cavity or dental decay. If it's more of a throbbing, aching pain, wait a few days to see if it goes away before heading to the doctor.

4. Bleeding gums: If your gums are bleeding while brushing, it could be a sign you need to step up your home care. Consult a dentist for a thorough cleaning and then make sure to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, as gum disease could be harmful to the rest of your body.

5. Cracked or loose teeth: If your teeth are suddenly cracking or crumbling, it could be a sign of tooth grinding, typically caused by stress. This can also lead to headaches and damage to the jaw. Try to relax as much as possible before going to bed and if you can't control the habit, get a bite guard from the dentist to wear at night.

6. Metallic taste: If your mouth suddenly starts to taste like you've been sucking on nickels, it could be a side effect of a medication. If you're not taking anything, it may also be a symptom of gum disease (treated by vigilant cleaning as described above) or a zinc deficiency, which might require a dietary change.

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Topics: dental hygiene  health  womens health