What Are The Oral Manifestations of Systemic Diseases?

There are many different health problems that can easily show up in the mouth and teeth. Since mouth and teeth are easy to examine it is important to know about these.

What is Diabetes? What happens in Diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus or simply known as high blood sugar is a super common problem. If you have diabetes your body is either not making enough insulin or is unable to use the insulin that it is already making. If either of these happens then too much sugar stays in your blood causing high blood sugar and it can also spill over in the kidneys into the urine and show up as urine sugar on a urine test. Over time high blood sugar can cause serious health problems like heart disease including heart attacks, changes in vision, kidney disease, and changes in the gums.

What are the mouth changes in Diabetes?

In the mouth, diabetes can cause periodontal or gum disease. Specifically, there can be inflammation of the gums and damage to the surrounding bones. It is more like a two-way street. Diabetes can increase the risk of periodontal disease and on the other hand, diabetes can get worse because of periodontal disease. Treatment of one problem can take care of the other problem.

What is Acid Reflux? Is it Caused by Bacteria?

Acid reflux is another common problem. Patients with acid reflux typically have heartburn, there can be a bitter taste in the mouth and in some cases difficulty swallowing, bad breath, and teeth erosion. The stomach acid is an acid after all and is an irritant to the teeth. The teeth can become torn out and even yellow at times. Patients with acid reflux can also have sensitive teeth.

If your symptoms of acid reflux are bad and are not easily controlled with medicines like ranitidine or omeprazole, then it may be time to see a doctor. Acid reflux can also be the result of a bacterial infection called H. Pylori or Helicobacter Pylori. This bacteria is very easy to test in a lab and if you end up having this infection it can also be easy to treat with antibiotics for a few days. If the infection is not treated there is a risk of developing stomach ulcers.

What is Leukemia? What are its Symptoms?

Leukemia is a broad term for cancers of blood cells. There are many different types of leukemias. In common language, this is frequently referred to as blood cancer. Patients with these types of cancers can have fever, chills, weakness, frequent infections, severe loss of weight that is not on purpose, enlarged lymph nodes, the liver can get bigger, the spleen can get enlarged. There can be pain on many spots in the body easy bleeding through the nose and red spots on the skin. In the mouth, leukemia can present with bleeding in the mouth, ulceration, and enlargement of the gums as you see here.

What is Bulimia? What Changes Does it Cause in Teeth?

Bulimia is a health condition where patients have a problem with their body image. They tend to eat a lot more than they should and then the guilt of overeating sets in. Once this happens, the feeling of losing weight comes in and they intentionally puke or vomit. The vomit comes along with the stomach acid and acid reflux can affect the teeth because of continuous exposure to the acid. The teeth slowly erode and become sensitive to heat, cold, or sweet. These patients can also have an increased risk of caries or tooth decay.

Does Lead Poisoning Affect Teeth?

Lead poisoning is a problem that is unfortunately common in many parts of the world. In short, lead poisoning causes loss of appetite, constipation, and iron deficiency anemia. A blue line can develop on the gums with lead poisoning. This occurs because lead reacts with oral bacteria that are normally present and can produce this blue line as a reaction. This blue line can also be seen in patients with poor oral hygiene.

The blood has small colorless particles called platelets or thrombocytes. This is responsible for normal clotting of blood which happens after an injury.

The platelets can go down in many different health conditions like cancers, infections, and immunity issues. In many cases, lower platelets may be detected because of changes in the mouth. If there is a trauma or injury in the mouth like biting off the tongue this may cause different types of lesions called petechiae, purpura, or a hematoma formation. People with low platelets can also have bleeding in the mouth with minor trauma and sometimes with no apparent reason.

Can Cancer in Other Parts of the Body Show in Mouth?

Cancers in other parts of the body can go into the mouth and this can be the last stage for some people. In this example of an 85-year-old man from Japan, cancer in the lung is progressed to spread in the mouth. This patient had a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma of the lungs along with the spread of cancer to the brain and abdomen inside the pancreas and kidneys. Subsequently, there was a rapid growth of this oral lesion over a two-week period with bleeding and pain. Then the tumor rapidly progressed with a fatal outcome. Any suspicious lesion in the mouth requires a prompt biopsy.

Can Medicines Cause Any Changes in The Mouth?

Enlargement of gums can happen with the commonly used blood pressure medicine called calcium channel blocker. This can also happen with other medicines like phenotype used for seizures and a medicine called cyclosporine. This can cause problems with chewing and speaking. If this happens in younger people, there can be a delay in tooth eruption. This can be taken care of by temporarily stopping the medicine and switching to a different one in consultation with the doctor. Sometimes surgery may be required to take care of this.

VIDEO DISCLAIMER: All the views expressed in this video and other videos in the channel are personal opinions of the speakers and do not represent the views of the organizations either past or present they represent MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER: All content in this video and description including information, opinions, content, references, and links are for informational purposes ONLY. Accessing, viewing, reading, or otherwise using this content, or providing any medical information to the author does NOT create a physician-patient relationship. The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for services of a trained physician or health care professional, or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should consult a licensed physician or appropriately credentialed health care worker or your own doctor/healthcare professional in all matters relating to your health or your child’s health or both. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have seen or read in this video.


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Onizawa K, Satoh H. Non-small-cell lung cancer metastasis to the oral cavity: A case report. Mol Clin Oncol. 2017 Mar;6(3):422-424.

Chi AC, Neville BW, Krayer JW, Gonsalves WC. Oral manifestations of systemic disease. Am Fam Physician. 2010 Dec 1;82(11):1381-8. PMID: 21121523.



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