Did you see the Wall Street Journal on Monday? Health reporter Melinda Beck wrote an article called "If Your Teeth Could Talk" about the clues your mouth offers about broader health problems, including disorders and diseases.
The key take-aways mirror what we tell our own patients:
Periodontal dsease, in which the gums pull away from the teeth, can signal diabetes, cardiovascular problems and respiratory diseases. Periodontal disease by itself is a problem, too; it's the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the U.S.
Ulcerated lesions could mean cancer has mestasized.
Worn molars could indicate stress-related clenching and grinding.
Dry mouth could signal diabetes or autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.