Other health problems your dentist can spot

  • Risk of stroke: Dental X-rays can reveal blockages in the head and neck arteries, which can lead to strokes.
  • Oral cancer: Dental exams normally include a screening for oral cancer, which can be identified by tumors or sores in the mouth.
  • Eating disorders: Dentists can spot anorexia and bulimia by redness in the mouth and thin tooth enamel.
  • Oral thrush: Oral thrush is a yeast infection that leaves a white coating on the tongue and throat.
  • Anemia: Signs of anemia include pale gums; a red, burning tongue; and irritation at the corners of the mouth.
  • HIV: Symptoms include mouth sores, patches on the sides of the tongue and whiteness of the tongue caused by oral thrush.