Getting Past Your Dental Fears And Learning About Technology

Several years ago I decided to take a trip to the dentist after skipping multiple appointments for over 15 years. I truly had a dental anxiety and had a hard time getting over my fears. Thankfully, my dental visit went smoothly with only four cavities identified. What I did find from this dental visit was that there was a great deal of new information and technology that I had been missing out on. Laser-based technology and digital imaging are just a few examples. With this blog, I want you to understand that you can get over your fears and learn about this new technology like I did, so enjoy the information.

Thyroid Disease Effects On The Oral Cavity

Dentist Blog

Thyroid disease can cause systemic symptoms such as heart palpitations, dry eyes, weight changes, hair loss, and gastrointestinal problems. Furthermore, thyroid disorders can have a negative effect on your oral cavity. If you have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups. Here are some effects thyroid disease can have on your oral cavity and what you can do about them.

Dry Mouth

A low functioning thyroid gland, also known as hypothyroidism, can cause xerostomia, or a dry mouth. Because of this, you may be at a greater risk for developing gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis. When you do not produce enough saliva to rinse away the bacteria inside your mouth, it can build up, causing gum infections and inflammation. Drinking plenty of water helps rinse away oral bacteria and it also helps facilitate chewing and swallowing in those with inadequate salivary production.

If staying well-hydrated is not enough to keep your mouth from drying out, your dentist may prescribe a special lubricating mouthwash that is enzyme-based rather than alcohol-based, which can further promote oral dryness.

Increased Cavity Risk And Dental Pain

An overactive thyroid gland is also known as hyperthyroidism. It can cause your metabolic rate to increase, resulting in a greater risk for cavity development. Because of this, more frequent trips to your dentist may be warranted for cleanings and examinations. To further help decrease your risk for hyperthyroidism-related dental decay, make sure that you take all of your prescribed thyroid medications and see your endocrinologist regularly.

Brushing with fluoride-based toothpaste may also help keep cavities at bay. Fluoride treatments may be another effective intervention to help lower your cavity risk if you have hyperthyroidism. While fluoride treatments are more commonly offered to children, dentists may recommend them to thyroid patients to help maintain dental health.

Hyperthyroidism may also increase your risk for dental and jaw pain because it can increase your risk for osteoporosis.  If you have osteoporosis as a result of your thyroid disease, your dentist may recommend a baseline panoramic x-ray to assess your oral bone structure for signs of osteoporotic degenerative bone changes.

If you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, see both your dentist and endocrinologist regularly. When you work with your physician and dentist it will help ensure that your circulating thyroid hormone levels remain within normal limits and that your oral health remains optimal. 

For more information, contact a local dentist, John B Webster DDS.


22 November 2021