Campbell, Los Gatos, San Jose, and Saratoga, Ca
The American Dental Association recommends that every person visits their dentist at least twice per year for a professional cleaning and thorough examination. To a dentist at the forefront of his or her field, these exams can reveal a wealth of information about the overall health of a patient.
Here is some information that your dentist can learn from one of these exams just by you opening your mouth.
- Flossing – It is impossible to create the illusion that you floss on a regular basis if you do not actually floss. A dentist can tell from one look at your gums how often you floss, or whether or not you floss at all. Also, never flossing until the day before or the morning of your appointment is not going to help you! If you do not floss regularly, the dentist will know!
- Pregnancy – Did you know expectant mothers have an extremely high risk of developing gum disease? The hormone fluctuations that occur during pregnancy mean that almost 40 percent of pregnant women develop what is referred to as pregnancy gingivitis, due to the increase in the hormone progesterone, which promotes the growth of the bacteria that are the base building block of gum disease. This gingivitis usually manifests late in pregnancy.
- Nail biting – Your dentist should be able to tell if you bite your nails, simply by looking at your teeth. Nail biters usually have teeth that are chipped or cracked, and people who bite their nails experience more wear and tear on the teeth because of that behavior.
- Thumb sucking – Children who suck their thumb or fingers past their infancy can have issues with proper oral growth and development. Specifically, children who persist in the habit are more likely to have crooked or “buck” teeth. Continued thumb sucking even can affect the development of the airway, leading to the manifestation of a sleep breathing disorder such as sleep apnea. In children, sleep apnea often causes symptoms that mimic ADD or ADHD, while also leaving patients feeling fatigued and affecting their performance in school.
- Bad breath – Not all bad breath smells alike. Depending on the odor of the halitosis, it can be an indicator of another condition. A patient who has bad breath with a fruity smell may have an early stage of diabetes. Fishy-smelling breath can be indicative of kidney failure. Foul smelling breath might be a symptom of acid indigestion, bronchitis, or a sinus infection. There is a certain odor of breath that is associated with gum disease, too. If your dentist believes your bad breath may be an indicator of a more serious disease, he or she may refer to a physician for further testing and examinations.
In short, visiting the dentist helps monitor both your oral health and overall health. The office of Dr. Paul Lippi, DDS, can serve any of your dental needs. Contact our office at (408) 354-5535 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the services we offer.
Dr. Paul Lippi, DDS, is here to serve patients living and working in Los Gatos, California, and the surrounding areas.