Does My Dentist Know That I Don’t Brush My Teeth?
We’ve all been there — sitting in the dentist’s chair, feeling a little bit guilty about our brushing habits (or lack thereof), and worrying about what our dentist is about to say. But is there anything to actually worry about? Can your dentist in Lawrenceville really tell if you don’t brush your teeth as often or as well as you should? Well, it turns out that your dentist not only knows if you brush your teeth, but they also know a lot more about you, even if you don’t tell them.
Every time you visit your dentist in Lawrenceville, there are a few key things we’re looking for — cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer, among other things. But we can also know things about your habits such as:
- How Often You Floss
We can tell if you quickly flossed last night or in the parking lot before your appointment. We can also tell if this was one of the only times you flossed since your last visit. Your gums will appear red, maybe even a bit swollen, and there’s a good chance that they’ll bleed during your cleaning. Patients who floss regularly tend to have pink gums, no or little blood, and no swelling. So while we appreciate that last-ditch flossing effort, please try to floss more frequently.
- You Smoke
Even if you don’t share your tobacco habits with your dental team (which you should, by the way), they can still tell if you’re a smoker. The dead giveaway is often the smell. Even if you try to cover up cigarette smoke with gum or mouthwash, the smell can still linger around in the soft tissues of your mouth. Additionally, if your dentist in Lawrenceville notices any yellowing or staining of the teeth, they may also suspect tobacco use.
- You’re a Nail Biter
While nail-biting may seem like a non-dental issue, the truth is, this habit can greatly affect your oral health. Your dentist doesn’t even need to look at your hands to know if you bite your nails either. Nail biters often have tiny chips or cracks in their teeth and may even have shortened, worn down teeth and jaw pain… all of which can create additional problems such as cavities and TMD/TMJ disorder.
- You Drink A Lot of Soda
Everyone knows that sugary drinks such as soda can damage your teeth, but can your dentist actually know if you drink soda if you don’t tell them? Yes! And it’s not the sugar that gives it away. The acid in soda, and other acidic drinks, wear away at tooth enamel in a particular pattern, giving away your soda-drinking secret.
It’s important to share your health history and habits with your dentist in Lawrenceville, even if you’re embarrassed. Knowing what outside factors may be affecting your oral health is crucial to providing you great, personalized dental care and keeping you healthy. We’re not here to judge, but we are here to help.
Every time you visit your dentist in Lawrenceville you will most likely review your health history and discuss any changes that may have happened since your last appointment. This is an important part of making sure you get the best dental care, but why? Your dentist needs to know what may be going on in other areas of your body because sometimes whole-body problems such as diabetes can increase your risk of dental problems. During this Diabetes Awareness Month, we want to share a few reasons why diabetics may need more dental care than non-diabetics.
Diabetes & Gum Disease
One of the main reasons diabetics may need more dental care is because of the strong link between diabetes and gum disease. In fact, diabetics are at greater risk for gum disease than those without diabetes. Gum disease is an infection that affects the gum tissues. It’s caused by an increase in bacteria that have worked their way up under the gum line. Gum disease can put someone at risk for tooth loss and whole-body problems such as heart disease. But that’s not all. Gum disease, like any infection, can also cause blood sugar levels to increase, making diabetes more difficult to manage.
Caring for Your Oral Health
Because of the increased risk of gum disease, your dentist in Lawrenceville recommends that diabetics commit to following good oral hygiene habits. The best way to protect your teeth is to brush for two minutes every day and gently scrub your tongue to remove bacteria. Additionally, make sure you floss daily. Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride for added defense, brush in gentle circles, and use a brush with soft bristles. This will help thoroughly clean your teeth without damaging them. And as always, make sure you also see your dentist every six months.
Measure Blood Glucose
The 30 million Americans living with diabetes know just how important it is to measure their blood sugar regularly. They also know that keeping blood glucose levels in check is crucial to protecting their health. Your dentist in Lawrenceville encourages all diabetics to measure and record their blood sugar levels daily. Your dental team may even ask for the results of some of your diabetes blood tests (the A1C or fasting blood glucose) or about your need for antibiotics before and after dental treatment for uncontrolled diabetes.
Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy
Avoiding or limiting sugary foods is an everyday part of a diabetic’s life, and it should come as no surprise that this can help protect your teeth, too. But eating healthy goes beyond restricting sugar. Diabetics can benefit from choosing fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Of course, we always recommend working with your doctor to find a diet plan that’s right for you.
The team at our dental office in Lawrenceville believes in caring for our patients’ overall health. This means asking for health history, changes in health, and changes in medication. If you’re diabetic, sharing this information can help us better protect your oral and overall health.