Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland. In children with this condition, the upper and lower teeth may not come together correctly. Their teeth may come into the mouth later than normal. They also may have a protruding tongue and thick lips. However, many children with hypothyroidism have none of these effects. It depends on the degree of the disease, the child's age when diagnosed and how long he or she had the disease before treatment began.
Adults with hypothyroidism may have:
- An enlarged tongue
- A hoarse voice
- A bad taste in the mouth (dysgeusia)
- Poor gum health
- Slow wound healing
People with uncontrolled hypothyroidism may be sensitive to some drugs used in dental treatment. Examples include sedatives and opioid pain relievers. If your dentist prescribes these drugs, you should discuss dosages first.
Hyperthyroidism is another type of thyroid disease. It means having an overactive thyroid gland. People with poorly controlled hyperthyroidism can have heart problems if they are given epinephrine. This is an ingredient in many local anesthetics (dental injections).
If you have poorly controlled hyperthyroidism or uncontrolled hypothyroidism, your dentist will need to discuss your care with your physician.
When this disease is undiagnosed, people may visit an orthodontist, thinking that braces can help with the tooth or jaw growth problems. Excess growth hormone can lead to heart disease (including high blood pressure) and diabetes.
People who take certain steroid hormones for a long time are more likely to develop fungal infections in the mouth. This occurs because the drug suppresses the immune system. They may have high blood pressure and have difficulty managing blood sugar levels.
Excessive steroid hormones in the body can result in color changes of the skin and mouth. The cells that produce brown pigment may produce more. As a result, the skin may appear tanned, and the gums or cheeks may develop brown patches.
People with Cushing's syndrome or Cushing's disease may be at higher risk of infection after complex dental procedures. They also may be at risk of cardiovascular collapse, in which the heart stops pumping blood.
Make sure to always tell your dentist about all the medicines you take. This should include over-the-counter vitamins and herbal supplements.
Depending on what procedure you are having, your dentist may monitor your blood pressure. You also may need to take more steroids than usual before certain dental procedures.