Reader’s Digest discusses what oral health issues could reveal about overall health, stating, for example, that signs of gum disease include red, swollen, and bleeding gums, which may also be a sign of diabetes. “If gums bleed a lot and are swollen or the patient is having frequent abscesses or infections, the dentist might start to question if you have a family history of diabetes,” says ADA spokesperson Dr. Sally Cram. Reader’s Digest adds that chronic bad breath may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, which may also damage teeth, and although several factors can contribute to dry mouth, the condition may also be a sign of the autoimmune disease Sjögren’s syndrome.
The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide information on diabetes for dental professionals and patients. In addition, the ADA offers the online course: Diabetes and the Dental Professional. The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org also provide information on xerostomia for dental professionals and for patients. In addition, MouthHealthy.org provides information for patients on gum disease and bad breath.