There are two indicators that a patient might, or most likely, has diabetes. Acetone breath, or breath that smells lightly like acetone, is the first tip off. When a dentist is working on a diabetic’s mouth they will be able to a sweet mix of fruit and nail polish remover. The distinct smell comes from ketoacidosis in the blood, which means that a much higher level of ketones are present in the blood due to the body burning extra fatty acids, which occurs when there is not enough sugar for cells to burn.
The second indicator is just a general indicator, but when combined with the first it can let a dentist be pretty sure that their patient is in fact a diabetic. Diabetes medicine almost always causes dry mouth, so if the suction tool isn’t picking up the normal amount of saliva, and the patients breath smells of acetone, then it is a pretty sure bet that they are a diabetic.
It may surprise people to know that dentists can often tell which patients suffer from bulimia, but the unique wear patterns left on teeth by constant exposure to stomach acid are almost always visible. While drinking too much soda, smoking, or using certain drugs will also wear your teeth down, these things tend to concentrate their erosive effects on the teeth in the front of the mouth. Bulimics’ wear down the teeth along the sides of their mouths.
If you do find yourself vomiting, for whatever reason, it is best not to brush your teeth right after. The enamel layer on top of your teeth will be weakened by the stomach acid for a little while. It is best to rinse your mouth with water, then maybe mouthwash if you have it, and wait half an hour to an hour before brushing.
If someone has ground down teeth from constant grinding, it is one sign that they might be suffering from migraines. The condition of grinding your teeth, sometimes during your sleep, is called bruxism. There are other causes of bruxism such as stress, and occasionally there are people who are just grinders, but if a dentist sees the evidence of bruxism, there is a good chance that patient suffers from migraines.
Some childhood illnesses can pit or scar adult teeth that are developing at the time. When a dentist sees one or two teeth that are smaller, scared, or pitted in a mouth that is otherwise healthy, there is a good chance that the patient had a serious childhood disease that caused the oral malformation.
Opening Bottles With Your Mouth
Anyone who likes to open bottles with the teeth should know that it is really, really bad for your teeth. You never want to chew on metal, and you especially do not want to use your teeth as leverage in order to get a metal bottle cap off. If you do this enough, it will leave distinctive grooves on the back side of your teeth, as well as shred the enamel that protects your teeth.
Dr. Potts is a gentle, caring dentist who uses the most advanced materials and procedures available. He practices comfortable, health-centered dentistry, with a strong emphasis on getting to know each patient. In addition to his technical proficiency, Dr. Potts is a careful listener. He makes sure to understand what you want and will explain beforehand what treatment is best for your individual needs, along with all options available to you. Check out our Twitter, Facebook page, and website.