You might think that your dentist only knows if you have a cavity or not when you visit for a checkup. Actually, your dentist can tell a lot about you just by looking at your mouth.
1. You don't floss enough (or at all)
You may claim to floss every day, but your mouth says otherwise. The state of your gums can tell your dentist a lot about your hygiene habits. If your gums are red and inflamed, it's a pretty good indication that you're not flossing regularly (or at all). Flossing is essential for maintaining good oral health, so be sure to add it to your daily routine!
2. You grind your teeth
Teeth grinding (or bruxism) is a condition that can cause pain, sensitivity, and jaw problems. If your dentist sees signs of bruxism in your mouth, they know that you grind your teeth in your sleep, even if you had no idea. They may recommend that you be fitted for a nightguard.
3. You're using tobacco products
Tobacco use is a leading cause of many dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and cancer. If your dentist sees signs of tobacco use in your mouth, they may talk to you about quitting. In fact, most dentists routinely look for signs of oral cancer when they perform an examination of your mouth.
4. You have heart disease
Heavy plaque build-up on your teeth is a key indicator of heart disease. While it doesn't cause heart disease, the Mayo Clinic states that plaque, gum disease, poor oral hygiene, and "tooth loss patterns are connected to coronary artery disease."
5. You have diabetes
Diabetes can cause numerous changes in the body, including the mouth. For example, people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease and thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth. If these changes are seen during a dental visit, the dentist will know that diabetes may be the underlying cause.
6. You have osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that makes you more susceptible to bone fractures as you age. Your dentist may notice signs of osteoporosis in your mouth before you have a chance to see your doctor due to receding gums and poor tooth alignment. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent it, including getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
Overall, your dentist can tell a lot about you just by looking at your mouth. By making smart oral health choices, you can protect your teeth and overall well-being. So be sure to floss regularly, avoid tobacco use, and visit a dentist regularly.