Could you imagine heading to the dental clinic for what is seemingly a toothache, and being told soon after that you have weeks to live?

That’s exactly what happened to eighteen year old Jake Bailey, who visited his dentist after experiencing some pain. X-rays showed that he had a mass in his jaw and he soon lost feeling in his face, began throwing up blood and feeling the sickest he had in his life.

dental x-ray with back light on the table

Further tests revealed that Jake had stage 4 Burkitt’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was given just weeks to live. This aggressive form of cancer left him battling for his life.

But this is not a sad story. Now thankfully in remission, Jake is grateful for that trip to the dentist and oral health therapist that uncovered the fatal disease that could have left him dead, and now lives life every day to the fullest.

Your dentist and oral health therapist is not just about fixing problems with teeth

For many people, a trip to the dental clinic usually happens when one of 4 things happen:

  • They have a toothache that won’t go away
  • They chip a tooth
  • A filling falls out
  • They can feel a hole

Of course, your dentist and oral health therapist is there to help fix these things, but they also pick up other serious health issues that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

If Jake had not done anything about his toothache, there is a very high chance that he wouldn’t be alive to tell his tale today. Even though he had cancer, the pain in his jaw lead him to believe that he did have a tooth ache, and that was what made him visit his dentist.

Oral Systematic Connection

We all know how amazing our bodies are, but what is even more incredible is how your mouth can reveal things about your overall health. When you have regular check-ups, your dentist and oral health therapist can pick up on health issues such as:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Disease

They can also tell when you are stressed or have bad lifestyle habits. When something looks out of the ordinary, your dentist and oral health therapist can refer you for further tests or to a specialist to get things properly checked out. In Jake’s case, this was what saved his life.

Bad oral health can cause serious health issues

two toothbrushes in a mug by the window

Your mouth is the entry point for all kinds of bacteria into your body. When bacteria enter the bloodstream, you can have problems like:

  • Respiratory diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Asthma
  • Problems during pregnancy

By regularly brushing, flossing and rinsing, you can help avoid these health issues but only your dentist and oral health therapist will be able to check that your oral health is kept in check.  The consequences of not picking up problems earlier on could be fatal, and that’s why regular preventive dental visits are a must.

Book your oral health check-up today

Seeing a dental professional is not just about checking that your teeth are in good condition. Making sure you have regular check-ups with your dentist can literally save your life, even if you don’t have any immediate concerns. Remember that poor oral health might mean other more serious health issues.

Contact us today for to book in an appointment – don’t leave it until it’s too late.