What Your Dentist Can Tell By Looking In Your Mouth

DENTISTS AREN’T JUST LOOKING FOR CAVITIES at your routine checkup. A quick examination of your mouth can reveal a lot more about your oral and overall health than you think. The dentist may even discover some of your quirky habits!

Here are a few things dentists may notice when they look inside your mouth:

#1: You Haven’t Been Flossing Regularly

That quick flossing session right before your appointment may make it more apparent to your dentist that you haven’t been flossing on a regular basis. When you only floss right before your dental checkup, your gums may still be bleeding and usually look damaged and inflamed. Healthy gums, on the other hand, appear tight and pink.

#2: You Have A Sinus Infection

Sinus infections are known for causing pain and pressure in your sinus cavity, but sometimes you can even feel it in your upper teeth!
Are you unsure whether you have a toothache or a sinus infection? Luckily, your dentist can tell the difference! A simple home test is to bend over and touch your toes. If the pressure or pain increases upon bending over, it is most likely not a toothache!

#3: You Bite Your Nails

Here’s one of those quirky habits that you can’t hide from your dentist! Nail biters have leveled off, flat front teeth. This is because of the grinding that occurs between the top and bottom teeth.

#4: You Have A Vitamin Deficiency

Dentists look at more than just your teeth—they examine the health of your whole mouth! Vitamin deficiencies in particular can manifest themselves in your mouth in various ways. Here are some examples:

  • Sores
  • Changes in the tongue
  • Tissue sloughing off
  • Delayed healing
  • Easily bleeding gums
  • Burning tongue syndrome

Dentists are often the first to discover a vitamin deficiency and can help get you back on track.

#5: You Used To Suck Your Thumb

If you had the habit of sucking your thumb or finger past the age of seven, there will be significant changes in your bite and the position of your teeth. Telltale signs may remain but these can be fixed through orthodontic treatment.

#6: You Have Another Serious Health Issue

Serious maladies such as oral cancer, diabetes, and heart disease show symptoms in the mouth.

Oral cancer, for example, is characterized by unexplained bleeding, discolored patches, swelling, bumps, or even eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth. Diabetes and heart disease visibly affect the health of the gums, shown by increased swelling, bleeding and sensitivity.

We Provide More Than Just A Cleaning

Your dental appointment is much more than just a cleaning! Beyond being able to tell that you bite your nails or don’t floss as often as you should, we can also detect other, more serious health problems and help you get your health back on track.

Your overall health is important to us. Trust us to catch any warning signs that may appear in your mouth. We’re here to detect any problems and help you stay healthy and happy!

Thank you for placing your trust in our practice!

Top image by Flickr user Tobias Scheck used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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