Are you aware of the differences between a family dentist and a cosmetic dentist? Though most patients visit a dentist twice a year, they may not be aware of a particular dentist’s training, education, or specialty areas.If a patient desires a cavity filling or preventive oral health care education because gum disease runs in the…
Why Are Oral Exams Necessary?
Oral exams are one of the most important parts of preventative dental care. Regular dental checkups help to keep the gums and teeth healthy, avoiding big, costly dental issues down the line. Although a daily dental hygiene routine is also vital to the health of your teeth, nothing can replace a professional oral exam and dental cleaning from your dentist.
How often should I see a dentist for an oral exam?
Even if there are no apparent issues with the teeth or gums, adult and children should be visiting the dentist at least every six months for an oral exam. These visits can allow the dentist to spot any potential issues and can help to prevent problems such as cavities and gum disease.
Young children under the age of six and elderly patients over the age of 60 may benefit from visiting the dentist for an oral exam every four months or so, especially if they are prone to tooth decay or gum disease. During these exams, the dentist will be able to determine any immediate problems that need attention, while checking on the development or preservation of the teeth, gums and jawbone.
What happens during an oral exam?
During an oral examination, the dentist will check for dental and gum problems. This involves the dentist checking for plaque and tartar on the teeth and at the gum line. Plaque and tartar are sticky, invisible substances that build up on top of teeth naturally over time. Plaque is a congregation of bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Those with poor dental hygiene generally have more plaque than those who brush and floss daily. Tartar, a hardened version of plaque, cannot be removed by brushing and flossing and must be cleared by during a professional cleaning.
The soft tissue, tongue, palate, jawbone and lips will also be checked for signs of oral cancer or lesions. An X-ray is performed to help the dentist take a deeper look at the jawbone and inside of teeth, identifying any issues that are below the surface or between teeth.
Common issues that are diagnosed at an oral exam are cavities, gum disease and pulpitis. Pulpitis is an infection of the tissue deep inside tooth roots. This condition can be remedied by root canal treatment. Often, oral exams are accompanied by dental cleaning every six months. The dentist may recommend a deep cleaning if there are any areas in the mouth that seem neglected.
Oral health and overall health
Keeping the teeth and gums healthy is not only good for maintaining oral health. In fact, there is a direct connection between oral health and overall health. Health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and certain head and neck cancers share a direct connection with poor oral health.
Oral exams can save your teeth
Getting a dental checkup and cleaning every six months can help to prevent big problems, and help your overall health, as well. Call our friendly, highly trained staff today to set up an appointment for an oral exam.
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