How Do Thyroid Disorders Affect Oral Health?

You might be surprised to discover that approximately 20 million Americans are living with a thyroid disorder, but what’s worse is that up to 60% don’t know it. This is important because our little thyroid gland controls many systems in our body including our oral health. How do thyroid disorders affect oral health?

Types Of Thyroid Disorders

A thyroid disorder is a medical condition that prevents your thyroid from making the right amount of hormones to regulate your body. These hormones control our metabolism, and both men and women can develop this hormone imbalance at any age.

There are two types of thyroid disorders.

3d thyroid gland highlighted on woman's body

Hypothyroidism is the disorder causing the thyroid to not make sufficient hormones so your hormone level is low. Your body functions slow down and you can experience fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold temperatures, and increased weight gain.

Hyperthyroidism is the opposite disorder when the thyroid overproduces hormones. Your body is in overdrive leading to tiredness, weight loss, increased heart rate, and bouts of anxiety.

Oral Health Tip Offs

Just the way diabetes can show up related to your oral health, a thyroid disorder can be the same. In fact, many times it is a dentist that diagnoses both diabetes and one of the thyroid disorders prior to your primary doctor.

Early signs are gum disease and tooth decay.

Dry mouth is a common symptom of a thyroid disorder. With a dry mouth and lack of saliva you cannot clear away any bacteria or food debris. This makes you more vulnerable to plaque and  gum disease leading to cavities.

Advise East Village Dental Arts of your condition if they are not aware.

Some Specific Ways Thyroid Disorders Affect Oral Health

If you have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid, you may experience:

  • Tongue enlargement
  • Increased infections and cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Bleeding gums
  • Impaired sense of taste
  • Excessive amount of time to heal mouth sores
  • Thin enamel

If you have hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid, you can experience:

  • Osteoporosis of the jaw
  • Rapid tooth growth in children
  • Burning mouth syndrome, usually in women during menopause
  • Oral ulcers
  • Less mass in the upper and lower jaw bones
  • Anxiety and stress, especially during dental procedures

Hormone imbalance can inflict havoc on your body and your oral health. Regular dental checkups are necessary to maintain a healthy mouth.

Contact East Village Dental Arts in East Village, NYC for a checkup if you have a thyroid disorder or are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned. Call (212) 979-6300 or request an appointment online to schedule today.


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