What Your Dentist Knows Just by Looking in Your Mouth

Your teeth and oral structures can say a lot about you—and not just about your hygiene habits. An experienced dentist like Dr. Donian Shen can identify dental issues as well as some other surprising facts, many of which you may be unaware. For instance, dentists can tell if:

You have a vitamin deficiency
You’re not getting enough of a certain vitamin, that can show in your oral health. Iron deficiency is one of the most common, and simply correcting the problem can often clear up any issues.

You may have a drinking problem
Alcoholic drinks often have a lot of sugar in them, and this substance can also dry out the mouth, leading to an increase in cavities. Usually, though, a dentist will notice a drinking problem from the smell of alcohol the patient may be emitting.

You may have an eating disorder
Erosion on the tongue-side of the teeth is often a clear sign of bulimia, although acid reflux and the use of antidepressants can also be a cause of this concern. If Dr. Shen notices this type of erosion, she will discuss the issue with you and help you find a suitable outlet for assistance.

You have diabetes
If the consistency of your saliva changes and there’s a sudden increase in decay, your sugar levels may be imbalanced. Additionally, patients with diabetes often suffer from swelling, bleeding, and sensitivity of the gums.

You chew your fingernails
Chewing your fingernails can cause wear and tear on your teeth, and this habit can lead to chips and cracks. It’s not actually the nails that causes the stress; it’s the force of the upper and lower teeth coming together. If you would like, we can provide some tips on how to break this trait.

You have a sinus infection
Sometimes mistaken for dental pain, sinus infections can cause teeth to ache as a result of the pressure. The roots of the upper teeth are located near the floor of the sinuses, so individuals with this infection may assume they need a root canal.

Regardless of the issue, your health and well-being are Dr. Shen’s highest concerns. If she notices something that she thinks warrants a closer review by a physician, she will let you know in a compassionate and kind manner.