Growth hormone is vital for one’s healthy growth and development. Without ample amounts of it, you could end up delaying your physical growth, which would result in disproportionate skeletal and muscular systems as well as in disorders like pituitary dwarfism, and hyper or hypopituitarism. Luckily, there are easy ways to detect growth hormone deficiency, some of which are oral in nature.
So to help you out, a few of the oral symptoms for three major growth hormone deficiency disorders (Hypopituitarism, Gigantism, and Acromegaly) are laid out below.
Hypopituitarism is characterized by decreased secretion of one or more of the hormones produced by your brain’s pituitary gland. Since it affects the development of your oro-facial structures, it can easily be detected dentally.
One of the most glaring signs you have hypopituitarism is delayed shedding or eruption rate of your deciduous teeth. In other words, if you still have your baby teeth even if you’re past the age when a permanent set should have replaced it, you probably have hypopituitarism.
Say you did shed your milk teeth on time. However, if the permanent teeth you now own seemed smaller than average, it could still mean you have hypopituitarism. To determine whether or not you have the condition, check if your teeth’s crowns, roots, and arches are smaller than they should be.
Overproduction of growth hormone, according to centers that specialize in hormone replacement therapy in Kansas City and elsewhere, could lead to gigantism, a condition wherein a person experiences excessive growth and height.
A malocclusion is characterized by a misalignment between the teeth of your dental arches, and it’s one of the oral symptoms of gigantism. So if you close your jaws and notice that the teeth between your dental arches are misaligning as they approach each other, then you’re probably experiencing malocclusion (and gigantism by extension).
Enlarged teeth also characterize gigantism. And one of the things that can cause your teeth to look bigger than usual is the hypercementosis of its roots. This occurs when calcified tissue builds up in your teeth’s roots.
Too much growth hormone can also cause acromegaly, a disorder that can leave you with larger hands and feet, enlarged forehead, jaw, and nose, and diseases like sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Macroglossia is the medical term for an enlarged tongue. If your tongue seemed larger than usual, and it has indentations on its lateral borders, then you probably have growth hormone disorder (which could lead to acromegaly).
An enlarged prognathic mandible is also a symptom of growth hormone disorder and acromegaly. This will manifest itself in your jaws having a lantern-like appearance, with your upper or lower jaw distinctly sticking out.
Oral changes, even the small ones, are tell-tale signs you have a growth hormone disorder. So if your dentist detects something off on your next dental appointment, don’t hesitate to see your endocrinologist. Doing so will not only bring any growth hormone disorder to light, but it will also enable you to deal with it accordingly.
Though not a medical professional, Hodge Racter knows a lot about testosterone replacement therapy, having undergone the procedure himself. Today, he remains spry and energetic despite his age, and when he’s not doing freelance work, he’s having quality time with his wife and two dogs.