What your dentist can tell by looking at your teeth

4 Lies You Tell Your Dentist and 5 Things They Can Tell By Looking

Who among us hasn’t told a fib or two in our time to save face? Sometimes, we even get away with it… but the reality is that, most of the time, it’s not worth lying. Particularly when it comes to your dental health. For one, not being honest can hinder the care you receive and lead to serious problems later on. Secondly, your dentist can most likely tell that you’re not being honest. Which could lead to an awkward confrontation as your poor dentist tactfully prompts you towards honesty.

These are 4 of the most common lies you shouldn’t tell your dentist and 5 things your dentist can tell just by looking at your teeth.

The 4 Most Common Lies People Tell Their Dentists 

Our highly qualified dentists are experts when it comes to “listening” to what your mouth and teeth have to say and these are the most common fibs we’ve experienced.

  1. You floss regularly

Any sign inflammation of your gums tells us that you’re either not flossing regularly or you’re doing it wrong. We can also tell if you’ve done it right before your appointment to help keep up the lie because your gums tend to look like they’ve been attacked.

  1. You’re not a smoker (even though you are)

Nicotine and tobacco cause stains and yellowing of your teeth, as well as gum disease and even oral cancer (throat and mouth). Even smokeless tobacco, like snuff and chew, can cause tooth loss and tooth decay. If we know the truth, we can suggest appropriate treatments, such as teeth whitening solutions and even referring you to an oncologist for further tests if necessary.

  1. You don’t really drink alcohol

You’d think we can tell from the distinct smell of alcohol on a person’s breath, but actually people who drink heavily suffer from dry mouth because alcohol decreases saliva production. Because alcohol damages your oral and overall health, it’s better to trust us with the truth so we can treat you in the best way possible.

  1. You don’t consume a lot of sugar

We all know that sugar isn’t great for our teeth, particularly sugary drinks, which can cause cavities and visible tooth decay. We’re certainly not here to tell you what you can and can’t consume, but we can advise you not to sip on sugary drinks for long periods and when you’re finished, to rinse your mouth with water to remove any acid and sugar. It helps, trust us.

What Your Dentist Can Tell By Looking At your Teeth

At Shine Dental Clinic, our dentists are trained to look for lots more than cavities or a build up of plaque. These are the most common things we can tell about your general health. 

  1. You’re pregnant

Some women develop pyogenic granulomas – deep red lumps on their gums, which do go away after pregnancy. Others (around 40% of women) develop gingivitis during pregnancy due to the increase in progesterone, a hormone that, among other things, facilitates the growth of bacteria. 

  1. You sucked your thumb when you were little

Most children who sucked their thumbs or fingers past the age of seven or eight cause changes to their bite or positioning of their teeth. This can influence how your or your child’s jaw comes together and impact speech – something we can correct with the right orthodontic treatment. 

  1. You grind your teeth 

We can see if you’re grinding your teeth daily or at night by the signs of wear on your teeth. We’ll likely recommend a bite guard or another type of dental device to protect your tooth enamel, especially if you’re a nocturnal grinder.

  1. You bite your nails

No, we don’t have to look at your hands. We spot the wear and tear on your teeth, including chips and cracking, caused by the contact that occurs between your top and bottom teeth. 

  1. You’ve got a health condition (you might not even know about)

There are a number of health conditions that we can identify. For example, if you have very bad breath, we might suspect that you have gastroesophageal reflux, an underlying lung abscess, bronchitis, or even a tonsil stone.  

Common health conditions we’re trained to spot: 

  • Uncontrolled diabetes: Fruity breath and rapid changes in your gum health.
  • Kidney or liver failure: Fishy breath. 
  • Oral cancer: Unexplained bleeding in the mouth, white, red, or speckled patches in the mouth, a change in the way your teeth fit together, swellings, thickenings, lumps or bumps or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth.
  • Sinus infections: Confused with root canals and toothaches. 
  • Vitamin deficiencies: Can cause a few conditions, including burning tongue syndrome, tissue sloughing off, increased infections, delayed healing, bone infections, and easy-to-bleed gums.

Why You Shouldn’t Lie in the First Place

Essentially, misleading your dentist about your oral health care can prevent you from receiving the advice and care that you need in order to prevent problems from happening later on. Anything you tell us will help us treat you accurately and at Shine Dental Clinic, we make sure that you feel safe and able to share your oral health journey with us. 

We’re here to care for you. 

To book your appointment with Shine Dental Clinic, call us on 01420 550616.

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