5 Surprising Medical Conditions Your Dentist May Spot First

Happy patient visiting dentist in Bonita Springs for checkup

Many people are under the impression that all a dentist in Bonita Springs does is take care of their patients’ teeth and gums. While that is certain the foundation of a dentist’s job, their responsibly toward their patients extends to their overall health. In fact, your dentist may be the first person to spot signs of certain medical conditions, including the ones listed below.


Diabetes is often referred to as a “silent disease” because it doesn’t always present obvious symptoms. However, it does often affect the mouth because it increases the risk of gum disease, dry mouth, and other oral health problems. If your dentist spots such signs during your checkup appointment and knows that you have other risk factors for diabetes, they may recommend that you visit your general physician and ask to be tested.


Anemia is a condition wherein the body lacks a sufficient number of healthy red blood cells. If your dentist notices that the inside of your mouth is very pale, they may suspect that you are anemic. Anemia can also cause the tongue to take on a much smoother texture than normal. Because anemia can have a number of different causes, following up with your regular doctor is vital if your dentists expresses concern.

Intense Stress

Most people recognize that some degree of stress is inevitable in everyday life. However, when stress reaches the point where it affects your oral health, there is a good chance that it is also affecting your overall health. If your dentist notices signs of perpetual teeth grinding and clenching (a condition known as bruxism), they may ask you about your stress levels and encourage you to seek appropriate help.

Chron’s Disease

Chron’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, so it surprises people when they find out that it can also affect the mouth. It may cause swollen lips and dime-sized ulcers. After a dentist rules out other causes for such symptoms, they may suspect that you have Chron’s disease and encourage you to follow up with your general physician.

Oral Cancer

Many people who do not smoke assume that they are not at risk for oral cancer. However, while smoking is certainly a huge risk factor, anyone can develop oral cancer. Its first signs are often painless and go unnoticed by patients. Dentists perform a thorough oral cancer screening at every checkup. If they find any cause for concern, such as odd swelling or lumps, they will help you arrange for further testing.

Your dentist is your best friend in the fight against oral health problems — but they can also play a key role in protecting your overall health.

Meet the Practice

Drs. Rich and Lacy Gilbert are a husband and wife dental team who are passionate about quality, as are their fellow dentists at Pelican Landing dental, Drs. Eric Heisser and Ranold Binns. Together, they work to ensure that each patient has a positive experience, and they are always looking for ways they can improve both their patients’ smiles and their overall health. To learn more about our practice and our services, contact us at 239-948-2111.