What your mouth says about you

How can the condition of your mouth can help your physician identify whether or not you may be suffering from a certain illness?

You can tell a whole lot about someone by the condition of their mouth.

This might seem far-fetched, but there is actual research behind it.

If you read our article titled “Is your overall health connected to your dental hygiene?”, you will know that the bacteria in your mouth could wreak havoc on your system, but a lesser known fact is that your mouth can also help identify whether or not you may be suffering from certain ailments.


Many dental plans in South Africa cover general check-ups, in order to catch these signs and symptoms, before they develop in to potentially life threatening diseases.

Most commonly, a swab of your saliva is taken to diagnose a plethora of diseases.

For example, Colgate Professional states that the cortisol levels in saliva are used to test for stress responses in newborn children.

It continues that “fragments of certain bone-specific proteins may be useful in monitoring bone loss in women and men prone to osteoporosis. Certain cancer markers are also detectable in saliva”.

That isn’t even close to all, your saliva can even determine if you have been using illegal drugs.

Many companies issue a mandatory saliva rug test, to assist with urine examination.

Also measurable by testing the saliva are “environmental toxins, hormones and antibodies indicating hepatitis or HIV infection”.

Saliva test kits have become popular with at home users, when testing for HIV-specific antibodies.

Actually, people who suffer from conditions like AIDS or diabetes, usually develop mouth lesions.

Other oral complications may occur as well, a sore throat for example could be a sign of anything from strep, to different types of cancer.

What does bad breathe indicate?

All sorts of conditions and diseases make their mark on your teeth, tongue, and gums. So keep clicking as Dr. Jonathan B. Levine, an associate professor at New York University School of Dentistry and the author of “Smile! The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Smile Beauty”, explained to CBS News  “White patches (on your tongue) known as oral leukoplakia are often precancerous. Other possibilities include an overgrowth of yeast called “thrush,” an autoimmune disorder called lichen planus, or even syphilis”.

A mouth bacteria can also be visible to the naked eye. Many don’t know that a bacterial infection in the mouth can present as a black, hairy coating.

The condition is linked to various factors, ranging from a poor, low fiber eating regimen, to smoking or chewing tobacco, poor oral hygiene, or the use of antibiotics.


To combat bad breathe in itself, there are affordable dental insurance plans that offer teeth, mouth and tongue cleanings.


What do healthy gums look like?


Well, healthy gums are usually pink or a light red colour. When gums are in a good condition, they are firm, and sturdy when brushed. Healthy gums feel firm around the teeth. Healthy gums also do not bleed after normal, light brushing.

When gums are inflamed, it is usually a sign of a deeper underlying condition. Inflammation in the mouth could actually indicated inflammation in the cardiovascular area.

Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and dementia can all be indicated by bleeding gums.

So, in order to stay healthy.

Brush your teeth, floss and invest in a good antibacterial mouth wash.

Be wary of cheap dental insurance that doesn’t cover the basic needs of the average family.

Most dental plans in South Africa cover day to day dentistry needs, including teeth cleaning, and screenings for nasty cavities.

Dental cover in South Africa has come a long way, and Affinity Dental is one of the fastest growing dental insurance providers in South Africa.

Affinity Dental’s cover options allow you to choose a plan that best suits your needs, starting from as little as R175 per month.

So spend a little extra time on cleaning your teeth, gums and tongue. Most dentists recommend that you brush twice a day, once in the morning, and just before bed.