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5 Serious Health Problems a Private Dentist Can Spot

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Regular dental check-ups are important not just for oral health but overall health, too. Private dentists are highly trained to spot signs of certain serious medical conditions during routine examinations. Here are five serious health issues a private dentist may detect:

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer refers to cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or throat. During a dental check-up, a dentist for private patients will carefully examine all soft tissues in the mouth for any abnormal lumps, growths, or ulcers that could potentially be cancerous. Early detection is key – if caught early, the 5-year survival rate for oral cancer is around 60%. Undiagnosed, oral cancer can spread quickly to other areas of the head and neck. Dentists have a vital role to play in identifying oral cancer in its early stages.

Heart Disease

Recent research indicates a connection between oral hygiene and cardiovascular health. Periodontal disease, which harms the soft tissues and bone surrounding teeth, can permit bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream. These bacteria may then bind to fatty deposits in the heart’s blood vessels, possibly promoting clot formation and increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke. During a regular dental check-up, dentists can detect early signs of gum disease. Treating periodontal disease could help reduce the risk of heart issues.


Uncontrolled diabetes can cause an array of oral health issues. People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease, fungal infections, and dry mouth. At a dental appointment, the dentist may notice inflamed gums, mouth ulcers, or other symptoms indicative of diabetes. The dentist can then advise the patient to see their GP for diabetes testing. Managing diabetes improves dental health, while good oral hygiene helps control blood sugar levels.


Osteoporosis is a condition involving bone loss and increased fracture risk. Dental x-rays may detect low bone density in the jaw sooner than expected, allowing for earlier treatment. Osteoporosis also affects oral health – thinning of the jaw bones raises the risk of tooth loss. If tooth extraction is required, the dentist will take precautions to avoid jaw fractures in osteoporotic patients. Vitamin D supplementation, recommended for osteoporosis, has benefits for the teeth, too.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia often first manifest with dental signs – e.g., acid erosion of the enamel from vomiting. Dentists may notice missing teeth, cavities, dry mouth, bleeding gums, and damage to the salivary glands. These could indicate behaviors like self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, or restricted eating. Sensitively drawing attention to physical damage in the mouth may prompt the patient to seek help for an underlying eating disorder.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups

Private dentists have an essential role to play in protecting overall health. Many serious medical conditions become apparent first through changes in the teeth and mouth. Attending regular dental examinations allows dentists to catch problems early when treatment is most effective. Comprehensive screening underpins preventative dentistry. 

Don’t skip your 6-monthly private dental check-up – it could end up saving your life!