DID YOU KNOW that over 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year? Regular dental examinations and good oral hygiene can prevent most dental diseases.
Do You Need To See A Dentist?
Here are some warning signs that you need to see a dentist:
- Your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold
- Your gums are puffy and they bleed when you brush and
- You have fillings, crowns, implants, or
- You have persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- You are pregnant
- You have pain and/or swelling in your mouth, face or neck
- You have difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
- You have a family history of gum disease
- You have a history of dental decay
- You have dry mouth
- You have medical conditions that include:
- Heart disease
- Eating disorders
- HIV positive
- You use tobacco products
- You are undergoing medical treatment such as:
- Hormone replacement therapy
- You have popping or pain in your jaw
- You have a sore that doesn’t go away
Any of these symptoms can be warning signs that you need to see a dentist. The earlier that these signs are addressed and treated, the sooner you will feel better and your mouth will be healthy.
Common Questions About Dental Visits
If I don’t have any symptoms do I still need to see a dentist?
The answer is YES! Regular dental visits prevent problems. It is always easier to prevent problems rather than wait for an emergency. Routine dental visits help keep your mouth healthy and keep bacteria counts down which makes your overall health much better. Always inform your dental office if you are having medical issues because medical conditions can also affect your dental health.
What can I expect during a dental checkup?
During a routine dental visit, you will have a dental examination where we check all the teeth and soft tissues in the mouth. You will also have an oral cancer exam and a periodontal evaluation performed. The periodontal probing is the best indicator of the overall health of your mouth. It is also important to have dental x-rays taken as determined by your dentist. Many early issues in your mouth can be found on bitewing x-rays. These x-rays show us the surfaces in between your teeth that the dentist can’t see visually when they do your exam. A panoramic or conebeam x-ray should be taken every 3 to 5 years. It is an excellent tool for evaluating all areas in the oral cavity. These x-rays show cysts, tumors, impacted teeth and the entire anatomy of the jaws. A dental prophylaxis (teeth cleaning) and polishing will be done. A fluoride treatment may also be recommended.
If you are taking any medications, prescriptions or supplements, you should inform your dental team. Certain medications can affect your dental health.
Oral hygiene instructions and an explanation of all recommended dental treatment will also be addressed during your visit. Many times, if there is a lot of changes in your dental health, your dental team member may recognize contributing factors that need to be addressed in your overall systemic health. The dentist should be able to recommend dental products that will help you deal with the conditions in your mouth as well as give you proper nutritional advice.
Many Americans skip their appointments with their primary care physicians. It is crucial that you keep your dental team up to date on your overall health. The dental team is here to help you with more than teeth issues. In our office, we practice a collaborative approach with the medical doctors that you see to give our patients the best care possible!