3 Serious Medical Conditions That Can Be Revealed During A Dental Exam

Dentist Blog

While undergoing a comprehensive dental examination prior to undergoing cosmetic dentistry procedures allows your dentist to recognize and treat dental cavities and gingivitis, it may also be saving your life. Your mouth can reveal serious medical conditions, however, when they are discovered and treated early, a good outcome is likelier. Here are three serious medical problems that your dentist may discover during a routine examination and what you can do about them.


Erythroplakia refers to bright red patches that appear inside the mouth, usually on the soft palate, the tongue, retromolar area, and floor of the mouth. The often have a velvety texture and can bleed easily. These lesions are often caused by cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, and are considered precancerous.

While they don't always cause physical symptoms, erythroplakia patches can lead to soreness or a burning sensation in the mouth. When your dentist discovers these plaques inside you mouth and treats them in a timely manner, erythroplakia lesions are less likely to progress into malignant transformation. Smoking cessation and avoiding alcoholic beverages may help lower the risk of developing erythroplakia and diminish the risk of dangerous cellular changes if you already have it.

Candidiasis Infection

People with diabetes may be at a greater risk for developing oral yeast infections such as candidiasis. This condition causes white lesions in the oral cavity that bleed easily when scraped. While most people who experience oral yeast infections have already been diagnosed with diabetes, it can be the first and only symptom in other diabetic patients. When your dental examination reveals a candidiasis infection, you may be referred to your primary physician for further evaluation and treatment.

Bleeding Disorders

Although bleeding during a cosmetic dental procedure or routine teeth cleaning is common, uncontrolled, heavy bleeding during dental care may mean that a blood platelet disorder is present.

If your gums bleed profusely during an oral examination, your dentist or hygienist may inquire about aspirin or prescription anticoagulant use, as these can often contribute to oral bleeding. Other causes of bleeding gums include anemia, gingivitis and periodontitis.

If you are not taking medications that either thin the blood or decrease platelet aggregation, or if you do not have gum disease, your dentist may recommend that you make an appointment with your physician for a complete blood count. If your blood count reveals a platelet disorder or other blood-clotting abnormality, your doctor may recommend additional diagnostic tests to determine the reason for a low platelet count.

See your dentist for a routine examination prior to undergoing any cosmetic dentistry procedures. The sooner any of the above disorders are recognized and treated, the more likely you are to enjoy a positive outcome. For more information or assistance, contact companies like The Family Dentist.


29 December 2016