It happens all of the time at doctor and dentist offices; patients stretch the truth when talking about their home health habits.
You’ve probably done it once or twice yourself. It’s common, and really not all the surprising.
But what is surprising is the consistency in the types of lies patients tell to their dentist.
A national survey conducted for the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) found that people are not fibbing about how much sugary foods they’re eating, or how often they brush our teeth. It’s about flossing.
27% of patients says they lie about how often they floss.
The truth is a person’s mouth is a very close reflection of not just oral health but also general health. And dentists can usually tell when a patient isn’t being truthful. For example, a patient who says she flosses every day but has inflammation under her gums.
Here are some other common tall tales dentists can spot.
“I hardly ever drink soda.”
How we can tell: The acid in soda can wear away the protective layer of enamel that coats the outside of your teeth — and it does so in a particular pattern. Lemonade and citrus fruits can do similar damage.
“I don’t smoke.”
How we can tell: Tobacco is notorious for staining your teeth. Since the color of the stains can vary from person to person, we might smell your clothes or examine your fingers for nicotine stains if we suspect you smoke.
“I don’t drink alcohol very often.”
How we can tell: Alcohol has a distinct smell, and what’s more, people who drink heavily tend to have very dry mouth because alcohol interferes with the salivary glands and reduces saliva production.
“I don’t grind my teeth at night.”
How we can tell: Your teeth can acquire a worn look from grinding. If you have headaches, migraines, or muscle pain around your TMJ, it’s a sign that you might have nocturnal bruxism, a condition that’s also known as nocturnal tooth grinding. Teeth grinding should not be ignored.
One thing is certain: A close rapport between dentist and patient is key to the best possible treatment!
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.