Although you may not classify them as the hallmark of health, your teeth know just as much about how healthy you are as your doctor- they’re just not telling you! The little changes in your mouth that you may have never noticed before could be signs of much more serious issues than just forgetting to floss a couple of times.
Here are six little secrets that only your teeth (or your dentist) can tell you.
1. They Can Show You the First Signs of Diabetes
Your dentist should be more able to see this connection, but if your gums feel a little bit different than usual, then don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist because type 2 diabetes can reduce blood flow to the gums, resulting in discoloration and discomfort. Chronically high blood sugar can also cause dry mouth and perpetuate any gum disease that you may have already had. This may especially be the case if you have perpetual bad breath or if you have bloody gums, which are also signs of gum disease linked to type 2 diabetes.
2. You Should Take a Multivitamin
This is one that you will notice more than your dentist. Deficiencies in different vitamins and minerals manifest themselves in different ways around or in your mouth. For instance, you may notice a weakening of your enamel through increased sensitivity caused by lack of vitamin A and vitamin D, or that you have more plaque than usual because you just aren’t eating a diet that is nutritionally rich enough to support plaque prevention. While these issues can easily be resolved by a multivitamin, another approach would be to alter your diet in a way that not only your mouth, but the rest of your body will also appreciate.
3. You Might be Pregnant
Spontaneous bleeding gums or mouth sensitivity is also a sign of pregnancy. Even if you keep really good care of your teeth, if you visit your dentist and get diagnosed with gingivitis, this might be due to the hormones released during pregnancy as they increase blood flow to the gums, making them become more swollen and irritated. These are the same hormones that can also lead to an increase in plaque buildup, so if you notice larger amounts of plaque on your teeth, then it is probably not a bad idea to take a pregnancy test while also making sure you are brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash correctly.
4. They Can Tell You How Much Life You Have Left in You
Though there is no way to possibly tell exactly how many years anyone has left, your teeth can help you make an educated guess. People with dental disease or people who just visit the dentist and floss less often are more likely to die sooner than people who do not have dental disease or people who do floss. This is not strictly because of the dental care, but because people who are more aware of their dental health and people who practice good dental hygiene are also more likely to be aware of other health risks and are also more likely to practice good, healthy habits for the rest of their body as well.
5. Signs of Stress
If you’ve noticed that your mouth feels sore when you wake up, it may be a sign of clinching. Grinding is another cause of stress. You may notice that they top of your teeth are changing their shape a bit. This is caused by the friction of your teeth sliding back and forth. When you are overly stressed, your body may show that stress during the night. You may not even know that you are doing it, but your dentist will be able to diagnose it and give you treatment ideas, like wearing a mouthguard.
6. Signs of an Eating Disorder
You know if you have an eating disorder, but you may not realize that your child does. Many times eating disorders are hidden and you may not see any signs that there is an issue. Your dentist will be able to immediately see if your child is bulimic. Over time, the acid from vomiting will erode the tongue side of the teeth. So, you won’t be able to see it, but your dentist will.
Listen to your teeth because they could be telling you things that are the difference between life and death. They can tell you about your heart, blood, or even if you are growing new life inside of you. So schedule an appointment with your dentist today, and not just because you should or because it’s good for your teeth, but because your life, or even the life of an unborn child, may count upon it.