Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health, and your dentist can tell a lot about your health just by looking at your teeth, gums and tongue. Below, we’re going to share five things your dentist can tell about your health minutes in to your dental visit.
You Floss – But Only Right Before Your Visit
You may think you’re pulling one over on your dentist by flossing right before your appointment. After all, if you clean between your teeth, your dentist probably thinks they are like that all the time! Think again. If you floss once before your appointment, even if your not actively bleeding, your dentist is going to notice the redness, swelling and inflammation in gums that are disturbed by irregular flossing. Your dentist is going to be able to tell how regularly you floss by looking at your gums, not by listening to what you say.
You’re a Nail Biter
Your dentist doesn’t need to look at your fingernails in order to tell that you bite your nails. There will be wear and tear on your teeth, or there may be signs of chipping or cracking. Your fingernails aren’t the one causing the damage, the wear and tear occurs when your top and bottom teeth connect when you’re biting your nails. Kick the habit if you want to reduce stress on your teeth.
You used to Suck your Thumb
You may not even remember sucking your thumb, but in some cases, your dentist can see the telltale signs by looking at your teeth. Thumb sucking can alter the position of your permanent teeth or your jaw line. In some cases, it can also affect your speech. If your front teeth are a little protruding, your dentist may know that you used to suck on your thumb.
You have an Eating Disorder
If you are bulimic, you may be able to hide it from some people, but not your dentist. Stomach acid will cause erosion patterns on your teeth and can lead to excessive cavity development. If your tooth enamel is worn down in certain places, your dentist can tell if you’re bulimic or have acid reflux.
You have Diabetes
Diabetes can lead to sugar imbalances in your body, and one of the first places this can be visible is in your mouth. If your gums are swollen, sensitive or bleed easily, or if there are changes in the consistency of your saliva, your dentist may recommend that you head to the doctor for a health exam.