8 Things Your Dentist Knows About You Just By Looking In Your Mouth

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8 Things Your Dentist Knows About You Just By Looking In Your Mouth

8 Things Your Dentist Knows About You Just By Looking In Your MouthWhile you’re probably thinking about cavities during a teeth cleaning, your dentist is looking for a whole lot more.

“The mouth is the window to the body,” says David Silverstrom, D.D.S., of the Silverstrom Group in Livingston, New Jersey.

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Your dentist can spot diseases like cancer, anemia, and diabetes in a regular examination, says Dr. Silverstrom. He or she may also be able to tell you your bad habits and favorite beverages just by looking at your teeth.

Here’s what your dentist may find when you open up and say “Ahh.”

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1. You flossed right before your appointment—and that’s the only time.

Sorry, but you can’t fool your dentist into thinking you floss daily by doing it the night before or morning of your visit.

“The gums of people who only floss right before a visit are bleeding or look damaged,” says Timothy Stirneman, D.D.S., of All Smiles Dental in Algonquin, Illinois. “Healthy gums are nice and tight and pink.”

Santa Monica-based dentist Kenneth Wong, D.D.S., is on to you, too. “When patients floss right before coming in for a cleaning, I can see the slices where the floss cut at the gum because they were overzealous,” he says.

2. You bite your nails.

Your dentist may be able to tell you bite your nails without even looking at your hands.

“Signs include chips and cracking of [your] teeth, plus wear and tear on the teeth from the constant stress on them,” says Keith Arbeitman, D.D.S., of Arbeitman & Shein in New York City. “This can cause your teeth to become uneven and lead to jaw pain and discomfort.”

Patients that bite their nails using their front teeth usually have flat, leveled-off front teeth, says Kyle Stanley, D.D.S., of Helm, Nejad, Stanley in Beverly Hills. “The nails themselves are not what cause the damage, but rather, the contact that occurs between the top and bottom teeth.”

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