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8 Health Risks Detected During Routine Dental Cleanings


Routine dental cleanings are essential for maintaining oral health, but did you know they can also reveal potential health risks beyond your mouth? In Orem, dental professionals clean your teeth and carefully assess your overall health. In this blog post, we will explore eight health risks that can be detected during routine dental cleanings, highlighting the importance of these appointments in safeguarding your well-being.

Cardiovascular Disease and Oral Health: 

The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Health: 

Research has shown a significant connection between gum disease (periodontitis) and an increased risk of cardiovascular issues, such as heart disease and stroke. During routine dental cleanings, dentists carefully examine the gums for signs of inflammation, bleeding, and recession, all of which can indicate gum disease. Early detection and treatment of gum disease can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications.

Dental X-Rays for Early Detection: 

Dental X-rays taken during cleanings can also provide insights into potential cardiovascular risks. Changes in the jawbone and blood vessel calcification may be visible on X-rays, prompting further evaluation and management by a healthcare provider.

Diabetes and Oral Health: 

The Bidirectional Relationship: 

High blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can impact oral health, leading to gum disease. Conversely, untreated gum disease can affect blood sugar control, exacerbating diabetes. Dentists can identify signs of gum disease during dental cleanings and advise patients with diabetes on maintaining optimal oral hygiene.

Regular Monitoring and Communication: 

Dental professionals play a crucial role in monitoring the oral health of diabetic patients. Regular communication with the patient’s healthcare team helps manage the interplay between diabetes and oral health effectively.

Oral Cancer Screenings: 

Early Detection Saves Lives: 

Oral cancer screenings are an integral part of routine dental cleanings. Dentists thoroughly examine the mouth, throat, and neck for abnormalities, lesions, or discolored patches. Early detection of oral cancer significantly improves the chances of successful treatment and survival.

Advantages of Regular Screenings: 

Routine oral cancer screenings enable dentists to identify potential red flags, such as persistent sores or suspicious growths, and promptly refer patients for further evaluation and biopsy, if necessary.

Osteoporosis and Jaw Health: 

The Impact on Jawbone Density: 

Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened bones, can also affect the jawbone, leading to tooth loss and periodontal issues. Dental professionals assess the jawbone for signs of bone density loss during dental cleanings.

Collaborating with Healthcare Providers: 

Dentists may recommend further medical evaluation to diagnose osteoporosis and implement appropriate treatments.

Respiratory Problems and Oral Health: 

The Oral-Respiratory Connection: 

Oral health and respiratory health are closely interconnected. Poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of respiratory infections, including pneumonia. Dental professionals emphasize the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene during dental cleanings to reduce the risk of respiratory complications.

Managing Dry Mouth: 

Patients with chronic respiratory conditions may experience dry mouth, which can contribute to dental issues like tooth decay. Dental professionals provide guidance on managing dry mouth to mitigate oral health risks.

Kidney Disease and Oral Symptoms: 

Detecting Early Signs: 

Kidney disease can manifest in oral symptoms, such as bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Dental professionals are trained to recognize these signs and refer patients for further evaluation.

Monitoring Oral Health: 

Patients with kidney disease require close oral health monitoring to prevent complications and maintain overall well-being.

Acid Reflux and GERD: 

Impact on Dental Health: 

Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can lead to dental erosion and other oral health problems. Dental professionals can identify these signs during dental cleanings and recommend lifestyle changes or medical treatments.

Protecting Dental Health: 

Patients with acid reflux or GERD benefit from customized oral care plans that protect their teeth from acid erosion.

Stress and Bruxism: 

Recognizing Stress-Related Conditions: 

Stress can manifest in various ways, including bruxism (teeth grinding), leading to dental issues like tooth wear and jaw pain. Dental cleanings provide opportunities to spot signs of bruxism and guide patients on managing stress.

Customized Solutions: 

Dental professionals may suggest using mouthguards to protect teeth from the effects of bruxism.


Routine dental cleanings offer much more than just a bright smile; they serve as a critical line of defense in detecting potential health risks beyond oral health. By identifying early signs of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, oral cancer, osteoporosis, respiratory issues, kidney disease, acid reflux, and stress-related bruxism, dental professionals contribute significantly to safeguarding overall well-being. In Orem and everywhere else, prioritizing regular dental check-ups and cleanings is a proactive step towards maintaining optimal health and a vibrant smile for life.

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