Oral Changes In The Pediatric Patient: Possible Indicators Of Systemic Illness

Dentist Blog

It is essential that your child visit their childrens' dentist on a regular basis for checkups and professional teeth cleanings. These interventions not only help lower the risk for gum disease and dental decay but may also help reveal the presence of certain systemic illnesses while they are still in their early stages. Here are some things the pediatric dentist may look for during their oral examination that could indicate systemic illness.

Oral Color Changes

Certain color changes inside the mouth can mean a number of things. For example, if your child's oral tissues such as their gums, tongue, and lining of their cheeks are grayish or pale, it may mean that the patient is anemic. Anemia can cause low blood hemoglobin. When this happens, pallor can develop, not only on the face but also inside the mouth.

Another color change that the pediatric dentist may look for is yellow. If your child's tongue, the floor of the mouth, back of the throat, or gums appear yellow, or jaundiced, it may mean that they have a liver disorder.

The yellow color is the result of an overproduction of bilirubin, a yellowish-orange pigmented substance that gives bile its unique color. If your child's oral tissues are jaundiced, the dentist may refer them back to the pediatrician for further evaluation because jaundice can indicate liver disease.

Easy Bleeding

During an oral examination, the childrens' dentist uses dental probing instruments to assess the teeth and gums. While minimal bleeding is not unusual during a probing dental examination, heavy bleeding or bleeding that is difficult to control may indicate a blood platelet disorder.

Easy oral bleeding may also mean that the child has severe gum disease or it may be the result of certain medications such as those that inhibit platelet aggregation such as aspirin. The possibility of a blood platelet disorder needs to be ruled out, however, before the bleeding can be blamed on gum disease or medication.

Certain bacterial and viral infections can also cause oral bleeding because infections can cause thrombocytopenia or a low platelet count. Once the infection has cleared, thrombocytopenia will resolve, as will the abnormal oral bleeding.

If your child develops any unusual color changes of the oral mucosa or if the gums bleed easily when brushing or flossing, make an appointment with the pediatric dentist as soon as possible. When the oral signs and symptoms of systemic illness are evaluated as soon as they are noticed, early dental and medical treatment can be implemented. 


24 November 2021

The Reasons Why You Should Get A Root Canal

Hi, my name is Kevin Nelson and I want to tell you about my experience. I had a painful tooth so I went to see my dentist. After the examination, he said that I needed to have a root canal to save the tooth. I told the dentist to just pull the tooth instead and then he explained why that wasn't a good idea. He said that pulling the tooth would cause additional problems and then he told me what could happen. I didn't want any more problems, so the dentist did the root canal and I'm glad that he did. I wanted to write a blog to tell others about the benefits of a root canal and what to expect during the procedure. I hope that by getting the word out, other people won't make the same mistake that I almost did by getting a perfectly good tooth pulled.