How Thyroid Diseases Affect Your Oral Health
While some oral conditions are likely to lead to other health concerns, thyroid conditions can actually make a patient more prone to poor dental conditions.
If you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, here’s what you need to know:
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive. Patients with this condition are more susceptible to a wide range of dental problems from cavities and dry mouth to osteoporosis. Over time, poor oral conditions can also cause gum disease in these patients.
Patients with hypothyroidism are more likely to initially experience gum disease than patients with hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive. In addition to other autoimmune concerns, hypothyroidism can cause patients to experience macroglossia (enlargement of the tongue), gum disease, slow healing of mouth sores, and, in children, delayed tooth growth.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease and is an inflammatory condition that affects the periodontal supporting structures surrounding teeth. Healthy gums are firm and light pink and white. In contrast, patients may notice dark red, swollen gums as their first signs of a gum issue. If you are concerned that you have periodontal disease, further signs include:
- Gums that feel tender when touched.
- Gums that bleed when brushed.
- Bad breath.
- Pus between your teeth and gums.
- Loose teeth.
- Pain while chewing.
- Spaces develop between your teeth.
- Receding gum lines.
- Teeth that look longer than normal.
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
This more destructive phase of periodontal disease can jeopardize your gum health and even your jawbone structure. When the accumulation of bacteria along the base of your gum line occurs, your immune system responds by tackling the build-up, slowly but surely eating away any gum tissue or bone in its pathway.
The more gum tissue and bone structure that is lost, the greater the complications, which can include tooth loss, infected abscesses, and other serious health problems such as heart disease and gastrointestinal issues.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Anyone at any age can develop periodontal disease, but some are more likely to develop the condition. Still, every patient can benefit from doing whatever they can to prevent periodontal disease. Keep your gums healthy and improve your oral health by following these tips:
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Add in a therapeutic mouthwash.
- Floss regularly.
- Quit smoking.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
Increasing Your Vitamin D Intake
A recent study found that increased vitamin D intake can prove to be beneficial for patients with hypothyroidism. Vitamin D has a central role in controlling the different body functions. The study posits that vitamin D acts mainly on the nuclear receptors of thyroid cells.
It has an important role in regulating the T-lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells' function. If you have hypothyroidism, increasing your vitamin D intake according to your doctor’s advice could help regulate your condition.
Periodontal Care in Tigard
Our competent team at Progressive Periodontics is committed to helping and treating every one of our patients with tooth loss prevention and improvement of their overall oral health.
Whatever level of periodontal disease you find yourself dealing with, our compassionate and professional staff will work tirelessly to aid in repairing your gums and supporting tissues and bone structure.
Contact our team today for a consultation: (503) 966-3780