Dental check-ups are known to be an important part of a healthy lifestyle and many dentist recommend an appointment every six months. You may wonder why regular dental exams are encouraged and what exactly your dentist is checking for.
The link between dental health and general well-being may not be obvious, but dental health is an important factor in your overall health. Research indicates that there are links between gum disease and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pre-term births. One reason for this correlation is that chewing and tooth-brushing in patients with gum disease can release oral bacteria into the bloodstream.
Your family dentist has the specific skills and expertise to identify potential issues early on and provide advice on potential health implications. Below are a few examples of what your dentist might be checking for during a dental exam:
- Early signs of cavities
- Inflammation, bleeding, or other signs of gum disease or infection
- The condition of previous dental work such as fillings and crowns
- Early signs of mouth or throat cancer, such as white lesions or blocked salivary glands
- Other suspicious growths or cysts
- The general condition of the bones in your face and jaw
To get the most out of your dental visit, be sure to tell your dentist if you have any new medical conditions or are using new medications. Also inform your dentist if you’re pregnant or if you’ve noticed any changes or sensitivity in your teeth, gums, neck, or jaw.