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What Can Your Family Dentist Learn About Your Health From An Exam?

During a dental examination, your dentist will ask you a series of questions about your oral health and care. What you might not realize is that your dentist likely knows the answers to many of the questions simply from looking at your mouth. To help you understand just how revealing your mouth can be, here are a few things your dentist can discern from an examination. 

You Were a Thumbsucker

Although you might have stopped sucking your thumb years ago, the dentist can likely tell that you used to do it. If you sucked your thumb after your permanent teeth started to erupt, it could have caused changes to the alignment of your teeth. For instance, it is not uncommon for thumbsuckers to have a slight overbite.  

If you have changes that occurred from thumbsucking, your dentist might send you for an evaluation from an orthodontist. The orthodontist will determine if the changes can have a significant impact on your dental health in the future.  

You Drink Large Amounts of Sugary Beverages

Ideally, you should avoid sugary beverages, such as carbonated soda, as much as possible. However, not everyone does. Even if you are brushing and flossing as you should and seeing your dentist twice a year, your sugary drink consumption can result in changes to your teeth and gums.  

Sugary drinks tend to weaken the enamel on teeth. As a result, the teeth are left vulnerable and chipping, cracking, and decay can occur. You could even have this occur with acidic drinks, such as orange juice and lemonade. Your dentist will likely recommend additional oral care and eliminating those beverages from your diet.  

You Need to Up Your Vitamin Intake

Vitamin deficiency can have various effects on your oral health. For instance, a vitamin C deficiency can cause your gums to bleed. A lack of calcium can cause your teeth to be weakened and even lead to bone loss. Once the bone loss occurs, your teeth could chip or crack. A lack of vitamin A or E could increase your risk of developing a gum infection.  

If you experience any of these problems or even mouth sores, your dentist will likely refer you to your family doctor to assess your vitamin intake. Focusing on a healthier diet and possibly taking supplements could benefit not only your overall health, but also your oral health.  

Your family dentist can explain other health-related issues that he or she can discern from an oral examination.