Details Straight from the Patient’s Mouth

oral healthWhen you want to get the real facts about something, you head straight to the source. This used to be referred to as “straight from the horse’s mouth.” In dentistry, we head directly to the patient’s mouth. On your side of the specs, you are probably aware that your teeth will tell your dentist if there is a problem, such as a cavity. This is true; but there is much more to the story inside your mouth. Here are a few of the common facts that your mouth may reveal:

Flossing hasn’t been on your to-do list
Most patients are encouraged to make flossing a priority. The task takes only a couple of minutes after brushing, and does a lot to prevent dental disease. Still, we’d have to say that there are probably more people who skip this step than prioritize it. Then what they do is floss shortly before their routine checkup appointment. This could be the night before, the morning of, or even a few days in a row prior to the exam. You know what? This will not hide the fact that you haven’t put flossing on your to-do list. If you haven’t been flossing, your gums may show signs of gingivitis, such as redness and inflammation.

Soda is your beverage of choice
Actually, this goes far beyond the soda you may be drinking, but we’ll start here. Soda, as well as sports drinks, are bad for your teeth, and not the way you may assume. It used to be that such beverages were loaded with sugar, so they were thought to cause cavities. Most of these drinks are now made with high-fructose corn syrup rather than natural sweetener. They also have ingredients like citric acid or phosphoric acid. What these substances do is essentially wash teeth in acid. This leads to erosion, which increases the risk of chips, discoloration, and, yes, cavities.

You need a breather
Many of us are rushing from one thing to the next on a daily basis, and the stress of this hurried living shows in many ways. One of the ways the mouth reveals that you may be stressed is with signs of bruxism. Bruxism is the condition of grinding teeth and clenching the jaw. You may do this while you sleep, never knowing what is happening in your mouth. Your dental exam will reveal the evidence in the form of worn down enamel and possibly with tiny fractures.

For a visit with your friendly Shakopee dentist, call (952) 445-6657.

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