Teeth and Hypertension
The mouth provides another window into overall health. That’s what inspired New York University’s College of Dentistry to team up with its College of Nursing to check patients at the university’s free dental clinic for other health-related issues. More than 60% of the patients referred from the dental clinic met the criteria for hypertension, and 30% had diabetes or pre-diabetes. “The tooth pain brings them in. Diabetes and hypertension are often silent diseases,” says Edwidge Thomas, the nursing school’s director of clinical practice affairs.
In rarer cases, gums can bleed and become inflamed from leukemia. Bulimia can leave telltale acid marks on the backs of teeth — and missing teeth can be a sign of poor nutrition, advanced gum disease or long-term drug use.
Some body signs are more statistical correlations than causal relationships. Short leg length has been linked to a higher risk for diabetes, atherosclerosis and heart disease, which could all be due to poor nutrition in utero or early childhood. Several studies have found that the shorter a man’s index finger in relation to his ring finger, the more aggressive he’s likely to be. One possible explanation is exposure to testosterone in the womb, but so far, that remains more a curiosity than a clue
Melinda Beck wrote this article in the June 23rd article of the Wall Street Journal.
For more information about the Effects of Periodontal Disease on the Body please read click here.