A dental examination is more than just a cleaning. Your dentist is trained to look for signs of dental health problems, some of which you may be unaware of. Here are 4 things your dentist will be on the lookout for during your next dental examination.
A common reason people visit the dentist is to get cavities filled. Cavities occur when tooth enamel breaks down, leaving small openings in the teeth where bacteria can enter and cause decay. Early signs of cavities include sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures and visible pits or holes in the teeth. If left untreated, cavities can lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss.
Gum disease occurs as a result of an infection of the gums that can eventually destroy the bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease is usually triggered by plaque, a sticky layer of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. Plaque that isn't cleaned away can harden into tartar, which promotes gum inflammation. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which causes redness, swelling, and bleeding gums. Without treatment, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis and eventually lead to tooth loss.
Oral cancer can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat. Oral cancer is especially dangerous because it can be hard to detect in its early stages. Your dentist will look for any abnormalities in your mouth, including lumps, bumps, spots, sores that don't heal within a few weeks, or persistent sore throats or hoarseness. If caught early enough, oral cancer is highly treatable, but if left undetected, it can be deadly.
A dry mouth occurs when there isn't enough saliva in the mouth to keep it moist. It's often caused by medications or medical conditions but can also be caused by mouth breathing or the use of tobacco products. A dry mouth can lead to increased plaque buildup because saliva helps rinse away food debris and bacteria. It can also cause difficulty swallowing, speaking, or taste changes. If you suffer from dry mouth, your dentist may recommend using a saliva substitute or drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
A routine dental examination is an opportunity for your dentist to check for signs of oral health issues so they can be treated early on before they become more significant problems down the road. If you want to learn more, speak to your dentist today.Share
21 November 2022
Hi! My name is Sarah, and as a busy professional, I understand the importance of making the most of my time. That includes everything from having productive working lunches to making the most of my dental checkups. I have created this blog to help you maximise your dental checkups. In these posts, you can learn how to prepare for your checkup, which questions to ask during your checkup and more. I am also going to have posts explaining why checkups are critical to your dental health as well as the health of your entire body. Happy reading, and thanks for visiting my blog!