Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS September 5, 2015
The mouth is the window to your entire body. Almost all diseases have some effect in the mouth. The oral cavity reflects many of our body’s internal mysteries. What happens on the cellular level frequently works its way to manifest in some fashion in the mouth. Many times the signs of systemic diseases appear in the mouth before the systemic disease is even suspected.
Changes in the mouth can take many forms from bleeding gums to ulcerations in the soft tissues; from swelling of the tongue to changes in the bone structures; from cracking in the lips to variations in color and texture, from loss of taste to difficulty in swallowing, from mouth dryness to excessive saliva. The lips, the corners of the mouth, the soft moist tissues inside the mouth, the teeth, the muscles of the tongue and jaw, and the bone itself are areas that can alter their color, texture, and chemical structure when cellular damage occurs in other parts of the body. What happens in the body almost always will make itself known in the mouth. The mouth is intimately connected to the rest of the body, and the body is intricately connected to what occurs in the mouth.
Here are just a few of the disturbances from various parts of the body that may reveal themselves in and around the mouth:
- Allergic reactions
- Viral infections
- Fungal infections
- Bacterial infections
- Side effects from various medicines
- Blood disorders like anemia
- Endocrine dysfunctions like hypothyroidism and diabetes
- Liver dysfunction
- Intestinal diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome
- Reflux disease (GERD = gastro esophageal reflux disease)
- Cancers like multiple myeloma and leukemia
- Nutritional defects like vitamin C deficiency and zinc deficiency
- HIV disease
The mouth is not an island unto itself. You must be concerned about anything and everything in the mouth, but many medical professionals often overlook it.