Have you ever skipped a routine dental checkup because you didn’t have time in your schedule or thought your teeth were perfectly fine? You might brush it off thinking it’s just a cleaning you’re missing out on, but it’s actually far more than that. It may surprise you to learn that your dentist takes several steps to ensure your oral and overall health is in good shape. Read on to discover eight things you didn’t know your dentist was doing at every routine dental checkup.
Screening for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a serious disease that can become life-threatening if left untreated. To aid in early detection, your dentist will check your lips, head, neck, and mouth tissues for visible signs of oral cancer at every bi-annual checkup.
Examining Your Tongue
Did you know that your tongue’s size and surface can reveal a lot about your oral and overall health? Your dentist will closely examine it to ensure there are no concerning signs or symptoms.
Checking Every Tooth
At every six-month visit, your dentist will carefully check each and every tooth for health concerns. They’ll use a small mirror called an “explorer” to examine each tooth, paying close attention to the outermost layer (enamel).
Inspecting Your Salivary Glands
Saliva is crucial for maintaining good oral health because it helps wash away harmful bacteria and neutralize the acids in your mouth. Without adequate saliva production, you’re more prone to cavities, bacteria, infection, and even bad breath. That’s why your dentist will check your salivary glands to make sure they’re producing an adequate amount.
Looking at Your Tonsils
Like the tongue, your tonsils can also say a lot about any health concerns present in your body. Your dentist will take a close look at them and search for signs of infection or swelling.
Examining Your Gums
Your dentist will closely examine your gums at every routine dental checkup. They’ll search for signs of bleeding, swelling, irritation, inflammation, and large gum pockets as they are all signs of unhealthy gums.
Evaluating Your Bite
Aside from checking the health of your teeth, your dentist will also evaluate your bite and alignment to see if your pearly whites have shifted recently. If they have moved, your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment to correct any issues.
Checking Your Temporomandibular Joint
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the jawbone and jaw together. Your dentist will check it to make sure the joint and your bite are working together effectively.
As you can see, your routine dental checkups are much more thorough than you may have realized. By visiting your dentist every six months, you can help your mouth and body remain as healthy as possible!
About the Practice
At Crossroads Family Dentistry, we offer state-of-the-art, individually tailored, comprehensive dental services that are bound to exceed even your highest expectations. Our team cares about more than just your mouth – we care about your body too. That’s why we do everything we can during routine dental checkups to ensure your overall health is in optimal condition. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or call (434) 841-1704.