Dentists save lives each and every day. However, most people pale at the prospect of getting their teeth checked. When people think of heroes, firefighters, policemen and flying superhumans with capes are usually what come to mind. The dentist, for the most part, is never on that list.

A lot can be told by the condition of someone’s mouth, such as their overall health and the kind of conditions the patient is living in. There are even military dentists treating the men and women serving our country. Although many are squeamish at even the word “dentist visit,” here’s why you should start seeing your tooth doctor in a different light.

Dentists Save Lives

As mentioned before, your dentist can save your life. Even though you may feel fine or don’t have any major health concerns to report, studies have shown that there’s a relationship between your oral health and overall health.

Only a dentist would be able to detect the signs that something serious could be affecting your body. One of these serious conditions is diabetes. Oral symptoms of diabetes include chronic bad breath and frequent oral fungal infections.

Instead of explaining your symptoms away with what you ate for lunch, go to your dentist. There are many preventative steps your dentist can recommend before diabetes is fully developed. Oral cancer screenings are also a part of your biannual visits.

Dentists check for potentially cancerous sores and other signs, such as bleeding gums and discolored teeth, that can hint at a cancer diagnosis. If caught early, remission is entirely possible.

Dentists Stop Child Abuse

A child should never have to go through a life of abuse. Unfortunately, this is the life of many children. Dentists have a duty to their patients that go way beyond just cleaning their teeth. These doctors can detect child abuse through oral injuries such as lacerations, burns, bruises and broken teeth.

Before jumping to conclusions, dentists document the injuries and seek counsel with knowledgeable experts and organizations to see if the injuries recorded could be due to abuse or neglect. If it can be confirmed that the child is in an abusive household, then it’s up to the dentist to file a report to the Department of Child and Youth Services so they can take care of the case and do what is best for the child.  

Dentists Serve the Military

Dentists are one of the unsung heroes that serve our country in the military. Although not many people think about dentists when they think about our armed forces, these doctors are just as much needed by deployed men and women as much as any civilian.

Dentists help our country’s soldiers by treating any oral diseases and by informing them on preventative steps to take for better oral health. When a physician is not available, patient’s lives are then in the hands of dentists who have been trained in emergency medicine to perform lifesaving surgery.

So the next time you go to the dentist, remember you’re getting your teeth checked by not just a doctor, but by a hero as well.

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