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Experts: A person's teeth says a lot about their overall health
Updated: 11/12/2010 2:59:59 PM

Experts: A person Dental experts are providing information that explains how teeth, gums and surrounding tissue sends messages about a person's overall health, KTVU-TV reports.

Anthony Iacopino, spokesperson for the American Dental Association, told the news source that what happens in the mouth "can have a significant effect on other organ systems and processes in the body."

Iacopino suggests that stress can lead individuals to grind their teeth during their sleep. As a result, that person's teeth become flat and their jaw may hurt. The grinding has also been linked as a cause for headaches.

Broken or cracked teeth could be a sign of acid reflux, according to Iacopino. Stomach acid becomes backed up in the esophagus, which is close to the mouth, and causes tooth enamel to become thin. He added that this can happen at any age.

Another problem that people may face is dry mouth. While dehydration, allergies or smoke could all cause this oral problem, Iacopino told the news provider that not enough saliva may also be an early warning sign of diabetes.

Nearly 25 percent of U.S. adults who are at least 60 years old have lost all of their teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are low-cost, affordable ways in which individuals can receive dental care that may help to improve their overall health.

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