12 Things Your Dentist Knows About You Just By Looking in Your Mouth
- You Flossed Just Before Your Appointment-And That’s The Only Time
Sorry, but you can not fool your dentist to think of flossing daily for doing it the night before or the morning of your visit. “The gums of people who only floss before a visit are bleeding or are damaged,” says Timothy Stirneman, DDS, of All Smiles Dental in Algonquin, Illinois, “while healthy gums are nice and tight and pink “, He says. Kenneth Wong, D.D.S., of Santa Monica adds: “When patients floss just before they come to the cleaner, I can see the slices where the thread cut into the rubber because they were too jealous.”
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- You are pregnant
“Almost 40 percent of women will develop gingivitis during their pregnancy,” says Glen Stephenson, MD, of Prevention Dental in Boise, Idaho. “This is caused by the increase in progesterone, which facilitates the growth of bacteria, causing gingivitis. Some women will develop a deep red lump in their gums called pregnancy tumor or pyogenic granuloma.” (This type of tumor is completely benign and will disappear after pregnancy.) Stirneman adds that most women are often far away before their gums begin to bleed, so it is not as if a dentist has magically “discovered” that A patient is pregnant
- You bite your nails
Without looking at your hands, a dentist may be able to detect this habit. “Signs include teeth chips and cracking, plus wear and tear on the teeth of constant stress on them,” says Keith Arbeitman, D.D.S., of Arbeitman and Shein in New York City. “This can make your teeth become unequal and lead to jaw pain and discomfort.” Kyle Stanley, DDS, Helm, Nejad, Stanley in Beverly Hills, adds: “Patients who bite their nails with their front teeth usually have leveled, flat front teeth. Nails are not what cause the damage , But rather the contact that occurs between the upper and lower teeth, “he says.
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- I used to suck my thumb
“Most kids who suck their thumbs or finger do not have long-term effects of habit,” Stephenson says. “However, those who did it after the age of seven or eight years may show significant changes in their bite or position of their teeth. Much of that can be corrected through orthodontic treatment, but some telltale signs may remain. Alice Lee of Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, adds: “Sometimes we can see protruding front teeth, and this can affect how children’s jaws get together and grow and can also affect their language.”
- You have a health condition
“Bad general breath can be classified as halitosis,” says Arbeitman. But dentists are also trained to identify “fruity” odors and “fishy” odors, which can mean many things. “Fruity” breathing could indicate uncontrolled diabetes or a dietary fast that has gone too far, while “fishy” breathing could be a sign of kidney or liver failure, “he explains. If the odor is “very bad,” Arbeitman says, it could be anything from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) to an underlying lung abscess and bronchitis to a tonsil stone. Timothy Chase, MD, of SmilesNY in New York City, adds: “The first thing the dentist should do is rule out the smell coming from teeth and gums. After that, he should recommend that the patient see an ENT to rule Seno Problems, and a GI document to rule out reflux problems. ”
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- You may have an eating disorder
“Many patients are surprised that their dentist is the first to ask about eating disorders,” says Chase, “but bulimia exhibits a very different pattern of tooth wear that your dentist can easily identify.” Stephenson notes that “this erosion occurs almost exclusively on the side of the tongue of the front teeth and may contribute to augmenting the cavities.” But Silverstrom is quick to point out that acid erosion on the back of a patient’s teeth does not always indicate an eating disorder. He says other possibilities include acid reflux and the use of antidepressants or mood-enhancing drugs, which reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth, increasing the chances of acid damage.
- You have a sinus infection
“Patients often call it saying they need a root canal,” explains Ira Handschuh, D.D.S., of the Dental Design Center in New York, “when in fact it’s actually a sinus infection and not a dental problem at all.” The reason, he explains, is because the roots of the upper teeth are located in the same area as the floor of the breasts. And both breast infections and toothaches may show symptoms of pressure. “A simple test at home is to have a patient lean over to touch the toes,” he says. “If the pressure or pain increases simply by doing this, the pain is more likely to be unrelated to the teeth and he should see his ENT or primary care physician before coming to the dentist.”
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- Has Vitamin Deficiency
“A deficiency of vitamins and minerals can cause many oral conditions such as burning tongue syndrome, tissue detachment, increased infections, delayed healing, bone infections and easy bleeding of the gums,” explains John P. Dougherty, DDS, Dental Artistry at the Biltmore in Phoenix. Stephenson adds, “Surprisingly, iron deficiency manifests itself in many ways in the mouth, it can give some patients severe sores at the corners of the mouth, while others have changes in their tongues. Some may experience a painful burning sensation Or all the small papillae fall off your tongue, leaving it shiny and soft, and getting more iron will solve these problems. ”
- Have diabetes
“Often, imbalances in sugar will show a rapid change in the health of your gums, including increased swelling, bleeding and tenderness,” Handschuh says. “On the whole, the consistency of saliva can change, and there may be an increase in decay. All can be signs of sugar levels that are out of control, so dentists can alert patients to see their doctor To check for diabetes.
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- You have a drinking problem
“Alcoholics patients are prone to the cavity because alcohol tends to dry the mouth,” says David Tarica, D.M.D., of 34th Street Dental in New York City. “A dry mouth will lead to cavities, because saliva neutralizes the acid that causes damage in our mouth. In addition, alcoholics have” red cheeks chipmunk “, and the smell alone is generally a gift.
- You have oral cancer
“The first signs of oral cancer can be seen from the following: unexplained bleeding in the mouth, white, red or stained spots on the mouth, a change in the way your teeth fit, swelling, thickening, Or erosion areas on the lips, gums or other areas inside the mouth, “explains Michael Apa, DDS, of Rosenthal Apa Group in New York City. “An oral surgeon should be consulted for a biopsy of any suspected tissue.”
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- You Love Gatorade
You may know why your tooth hurt, but Hugh Flax, DDS, of Flax Dental in Atlanta says that even though the cause may be evident, “there could be underlying factors that weakened the tooth and made it susceptible to being chipped in the first place.” It explains that teeth can be softened with soft drinks and other sweetened drinks over time, which can make a tooth more susceptible to stinging. Energy drinks, which tend to be even more acidic than soft drinks, can cause even more damage to tooth enamel, says