Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Tooth Whisperers

Date:
November 20, 2008
Source:
Temple University
Summary:
The phrase, "the eyes are the windows to the soul," is attributed to several authors and philosophers. But the phrase, "your teeth are the windows to your health," can be attributed to Mohamed Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD, who has been studying how teeth provide important clues to his patients' overall health for more than 30 years.

Damage to a patient’s teeth can tell a dentist about what their diet is like, if they use drugs (and what kind), if they have a mental disorder, or if they’re under stress.
Credit: iStockphoto

The phrase, “the eyes are the windows to the soul,” is attributed to several authors and philosophers. But the phrase, “your teeth are the windows to your health,” can be attributed to Mohamed Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD, who has been studying how teeth provide important clues to his patients’ overall health for more than 30 years.

As part of his ongoing research, Bassiouny chronicles the case of a patient in the November/December issue of General Dentistry whose teeth had eroded from stomach acids, a condition normally associated with bulimia and other systemic disorders.

However, in this case the patient had no history of an abnormal eating disorder or gastric reflux syndrome. Rather, she suffered from dysmenorrhea - painful cramping related to menstruation. This severe cramping is what forced acids from her stomach back up her esophagus and into her mouth.

Bassiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at Temple’s Kornberg School of Dentistry, says he was able to identify and diagnose the problem by accounting for her oral health status, considering her entire medical and dental history, and factoring in other aspects that might not seem related.

“It’s important for oral health care providers to consider all options,” he said. “I don’t think it’s enough just to look in a person’s mouth, see a cavity and fill it. Other systemic health factors should also be considered – things like a patient’s heredity and race, as well as their habits and lifestyle – so that we can treat the condition and also avoid recurrence.”

It’s this broad way of thinking that has allowed Bassiouny to find other information about a patient’s health just by looking into his or her mouth. Among other things, damage to a patient’s teeth can tell a dentist about what their diet is like, if they use drugs (and what kind), if they have a mental disorder, or if they’re under stress.

Bassiouny says in this respect, dentists are on the front line when it comes to treating patients’ overall well being.

“Many patients can have damage to their teeth as a result of another disorder or because of a lifestyle or habit. But many have lived with it for so long that they may not recognize that there’s a problem,” he said.

“They may think its normal, so they don’t even mention it to the doctor when they go for a check-up,” he added. “But if we see something in the mouth that raises a red flag, not only can we treat their oral health, we can also direct them to get the proper care they need if something serious is happening elsewhere in the body.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Temple University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Temple University. "The Tooth Whisperers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114202017.htm>.
Temple University. (2008, November 20). The Tooth Whisperers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114202017.htm
Temple University. "The Tooth Whisperers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114202017.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins