How Local Dentistry Can Identify Underlying Health Issues

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Most people understand that local dentists in Markham can diagnose a number of dental issues with a simple examination. What they may not realize is that dental professionals also recognize underlying health issues that are not directly connected with current dental problems. At other times, they can use the results of those examinations to determine patients are at increased risk for developing certain ailments. Here are some examples to keep in mind.

Heart Issues

As an expert in local dentistry knows well, the condition of the teeth and gums can indicate the presence of quite a few underlying health issues. Many of those issues have to do with your heart.

Specifically, a number of teeth that are loose coupled with some sort of gum inflammation could indicate the patient either has a heart condition or is at an increased risk of developing one. Part of the risk has to do with the bacteria present in the mouth. At higher levels, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and be carried to the heart. A patient who has had loose teeth and ongoing inflammation for some time would do well to schedule some sort of cardiovascular checkup to be on the safe side.

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Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes

There is a connection between bleeding gums, loose teeth, and general gum inflammation to both types of diabetes. If there is also some consistent dryness in the mouth, that can also indicate the patient’s blood glucose levels are not properly controlled. This is true in terms of levels that are too high or too low.

When local dentists see this combination, it’s not unusual for them to recommend that the patient undergo tests to determine if the individual is diabetic but undiagnosed, or is possibly in a prediabetic state that is likely to progress to type 2 diabetes. Given the amount of damage that unchecked diabetes can do to the body, detection and proper treatment could add years to the patient’s life.

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Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones. While it’s often associated with old age or with women who are going through or have bone through menopause, the fact is that anyone can develop this condition. That includes younger people of all genders.

It’s true that your teeth proper are not likely to be affected by osteoporosis. What is likely to happen is that the jaw bone that supports your teeth could lose strength and density. The result is that while the teeth are in great shape, the weakened bone cannot support them efficiently. This may manifest in the form of receding gum lines and teeth that are not as stable as they were in the past.

When your family dentist notices these changes in your dental health, expect a suggestion to contact your physician and arrange for some additional tests. Depending on the severity of the condition, there are treatments for osteoporosis that would restore at least some of your bone density and improve your overall health.

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Dementia is a term that is often used to describe mental confusion, memory loss, and a general sense of being unable to organize time and events. Markham dentists may suspect the early stages of dementia are present when the patient does not practice good oral hygiene and seems to have difficulty following simple suggestions.

Poor dental hygiene has been linked to dementia in at least one study. The Journal of the American Geriatric Society published findings from the University of California that indicate people who do not brush their teeth at least once a day are up to 65% more likely to develop dementia later in life. Even if you are in your thirties, makings some changes to your dental hygiene routine will reduce at least some of the risk associated with developing dementia.

Nighttime Reflux

Stomach reflux that occurs when the patient is in a prone condition does leave evidence in the form of damage to the molars. In particular, the upper back molars are likely to show signs of worn enamel, more prone to cavities, and possibly weaken the teeth in general.

What the expert in local dentistry also knows is that reflux issues can also increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer. When your dental professional sees damage indicating nighttime reflux, expect to receive a referral to your family doctor immediately.

Parkinsons Disease

Did you know that a consistently dry mouth can point to the development of Parkinson’s Disease? That’s because saliva helps to break down bacteria that would otherwise contribute to the development of several health issues, including Parkinson’s. If some medication you currently take is not causing the dryness, your dentist will likely recommend some sort of saliva substitute along with sipping on liquids throughout the day. You are also likely to get a referral to physician to determine if you show any signs of Parkinson’s Disease.


Bulimia is an eating disorder that involves binging on food and then purging by inducing regurgitation. Along with the emotional damage caused by this condition, it can also have physical ramifications. That includes damage to the teeth.

As any of the Markham dentists can attest, the pattern of regurgitating wears on tooth enamel and exposes the gums to bacteria from the gut. Over time, this leads to weakening those teeth. The constant purging also harms the esophagus. If your dentist sees sign of damage from bulimia, you could be referred to your local family doctor and possibly to a mental health expert.

Local dentists are capable of seeing more than damage to the teeth. They are also aware of what that damage could mean in terms of other health issues. When your dentist indicates you should undergo additional testing under the care of your family physician or a specialist, take the advice to heart. Doing so could help you avoid developing a serious condition, or at least begin managing that condition to the best of your ability.

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.

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Everyone here is very friendly and provides excellent care. I received a full exam on my first visit, and everyone took time to answer my questions and ensured I felt comfortable the entire time - exactly what you want when visiting the dentist. I highly recommend Markham Smile Centre for anyone looking for great dental care.


There is an ample parking space before you get into the office. The receptionists welcome us friendly with proper COVID-19 procedures in place. The staff worked with patient very patiently and professionally. My teeth cleaning was done by Ying, she explained every detail to me and I did not feel any pain or uncomfortable at all. Thanks to the best team !


It's been a while since I've been to a dentist but I'm trying to get back on track with health in general. Overall it was great going to Markham Smile Centre! The receptionist (I believe she was Kim) was friendly. The hygienist, Ying, was attentive and gentle during the cleaning; x-ray tech (forgot her name, sorry!) was great too. Dr. Sara Riad explained things with good detail. Looking forward to going back!


I was someone who was nervous and anxious about visiting the dentist, but the team at Markham Smile Centre has made me feel SO comfortable. Kim is so patient and helpful and Dr. Hwang and Rory are both so professional and wonderful. They thoroughly explain the procedure to make you comfortable beforehand and are very gentle. I now look forward to visiting the dentist!


I found this place on a whim when I was looking for a new dentist in Markham. My hygienist ying was super nice and her cleaning was very gentle yet thorough. I saw Dr.Jason and he was very nice and informative in regards to what needs to be done and provided me with all the information I needed to make a choice. Would recommend this place to anyone looking for a new dentist, they’re accepting new patients!!


I have been to many dentists in my life, Dr. Jason is easily the best dentist I have ever been too. He does everything he can to make you comfortable no matter the procedure and is a true professional, as does all the staff at Markham Smile Centre. Truly an amazing dentistry


The clinic was clean and the staff was very polite. I particularly liked the fact that everything was explained to me before going in for the procedure so I knew what to expect at each step. The dental hygienist who did the cleaning for me was also very gentle and took my concerns into consideration. I will definitely recommend them.


Upon arriving to the Markham Smile Centre, my son and I were greeted with a warm welcome by the receptionists. The hygienists and Dentist were very gentle and transparent with what they were doing. The hygienist that worked on my 9 year old son was patient and very friendly with him, which helped ease his nerves. Our overall experience was A+.


Since I was little, I have always hated going to the dentist... Its always uncomfortable and unpleasant. These days, visiting the dentist isn’t so bad! Dr Jason, Rory, and the lovely staff at reception make the experience 100x better. I have had absolutely no issues with the gum graft and cleanings that I’ve gotten done here. Everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful, even when I’m calling in or emailing a hundred questions :). I would highly recommend Markham Smile Centre.


Love this place! All the staffs are friendly and Professional and I mean all, cause I've been to most of their office, Markham , Stouffville, North York, and Maple. Dr. Ko is very professional and patient. Whenever I have questions and concerns he would always reply me . I would say this this dental office take care of you all the way. I would highly recommend everyone to come here for any dental works. =)