You might think that your doctor knows your overall health best, but did you know that your mouth is actually a picture window into your overall health? Yes, your dentist can give you an updated report on your cavities but good dental health can also be a good indication of your overall health. Dentists and dental hygienists may be the first ones to see signs of disease, eating disorders, pregnancy, and evidence of a high-stress life due to the signs that are evident in the mouth. Has your dentist ever asked you any of these questions or made similar comments while looking in your mouth?
1. Did You Suck Your Thumb?
Your dentist may have noticed an open bite when looking in your mouth. The pressure that the thumb puts on one’s teeth when thumb sucking can affect tooth alignment and jaw development. When it comes to thumb suckers, most kids have broken the habit by the time they are 4 years old. Thumb sucking isn’t a big concern for kids until the ages of 6 years old and beyond because this is when the permanent teeth erupt.
2. Have You Ever Had An Eating Disorder?
Dry mouth and enlarged salivary glands are common signs that can be seen in the mouth of someone who battles eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Vomiting can cause problems with the teeth due to acidity. Acid erosion, due to vomiting, is most commonly seen on the lingual surfaces of the teeth, especially on the upper anterior teeth.
3. You Have A Sinus Infection!
Pain is the #1 reason that patients visit their dentist beyond preventative care. You may have visited your dentist for tooth pain only to be told that you actually have a sinus infection. At Riverside Dental Care, we have a variety of services to help you!
4. Have You Ever Been Tested For Diabetes?
People with poorly controlled diabetes are at greater risk for dental problems. They’re more likely to have infections of their gums because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums. High blood sugar may also cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse. Sudden changes in bone levels and the sight of unhealthy gum tissue despite good homecare, may lead your dentist to ask about your blood sugar levels.
5. Is There Any Chance That You Are Expecting?
Along with pregnancy comes many changes in hormones. This change can lead to more progesterone and estrogen in a women’s saliva and often more inflammation can be seen in her gum tissue. Dentists and dental hygienists have noted that many females have more sensitivity and tend to bleed more easily when they were expecting.
6. Have You Neglected Flossing?
You’ve neglected to floss for 6 months and chances are that you aren’t going to fool your dentist by quickly doing aggressive flossing prior to your appointment. Your gum tissue is likely inflamed and bleeds easily if you haven’t been flossing. When you aggressively floss before your dental appointment, you can actually do more damage than good by putting cuts into your gum tissue. The other giveaway is that flossing will never remove the hard tartar buildup that has been building up between your teeth over the past 6 months.
7. Have You Noticed More Stress In Your Life Lately?
Increased stress levels may bring on more canker sores and even more teeth grinding. You may not even be aware that you are grinding your teeth at night, but overtime your dentist will see that you have by the wear on your teeth.
Seeing your dentist on a regular basis is important for more than just checking for cavities! Dental health can be an indication of your overall health. To schedule your next appointment, give us a call or schedule an appointment online.