Thyroid Disorders And Oral Health

Thyroid Disorders And Oral Health

Despite its small size, the thyroid plays a huge role in our bodies’ day-to-day processes. It is so important that even the cells relating to the health of our teeth and gums rely on the thyroid to function properly. Up to 60% of Americans are unaware they have thyroid dysfunction, which affects an estimated 20 million Americans. A thyroid disorder affects over 12% of the U.S. population, and it can cause a host of other health problems, including ulcers and gum disease. However, there is some good news. The majority of thyroid disorders can be easily treated if caught early and treated properly, reducing the risk of developing serious conditions in the future. Sometimes it is the dentist who first spots the signs of thyroid disease and aids in early diagnosis.


A thyroid disorder is a condition that inhibits your thyroid gland from making the correct amount of hormones that regulate your metabolism. They tell your body how to function. From infancy to late adulthood, thyroid disorders can affect men and women alike; however, women are more likely to be diagnosed with thyroid disorders. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are the two main thyroid disorders. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces insufficient hormones and hormone levels are low. By doing so, the body’s functions start slowing down, resulting in symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and increased sensitivity to cold. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid overproduces hormones and hormone levels are high. The body revs into overdrive, using energy too quickly, which can cause fatigue, an increase in heart rate, drastic weight loss, and anxiety.


In both thyroid disorders, dental problems, such as gum disease and tooth decay, can present themselves first in the mouth. Similar to diabetes, oral health problems could be an early warning sign of thyroid disease. There are many oral health symptoms caused by thyroid disease, including dry mouth, bleeding, infection, and difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking.