You have so many good reasons to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A healthy smile goes far beyond surface appearances. Being able to chew for good nutrition. Avoiding toothaches and discomfort. During a comprehensive oral exam your dentist look for 5 key factors.
Gums should be pink and firm to the touch. Swollen, or bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. For many people with gum disease or gingivitis, this inflammation is not painful. If you catch gingivitis early, it can be reversed and healed with proper oral hygiene. But left untreated, gingivitis can worsen and ultimately lead to tooth loss. Gums should sit flush with the teeth, with no flaps, pockets, or places where they appear to be receding from the tooth. Your dentist will review your x-rays, changes in the way teeth fit together and probe your gums to check for pockets in the gums. Healthy gums are a leading indicator of a healthy body.
At each exam, your dentist will check your teeth for strength and condition, including teeth that have restorations. Grinding or clenching can increase the wear on teeth and restorations. Decay, as well as tiny cracks or other issues with teeth and restorations may not always be visible to the naked eye. Exams and dental x-rays help detect issues before they become painful and difficult to treat. If your dentist detects an issue they will recommend treatment options to help keep your teeth strong and healthy.
At the microbial level, bad breath happens when the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths break down the food particles that are lingering in between our teeth, along our gum lines, and, especially, on our tongue. After Brushing and flossing your mouth should have little or no mouth odor. Bad breath that just won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth can be a warning sign of advanced gum disease. Bad breath can be caused by a mouth infection, dry mouth, or underlining health problems, such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. If your dentist suspects a more serious condition is causing your bad breath, he or she may refer you to a physician to find the cause of the odor.
Healthy Oral Tissues
The oral cavity has sometimes been described as a mirror that reflects the health of the individual. Changes indicative of disease are seen as alterations in the oral mucosa lining the mouth, which can reveal systemic conditions, such as diabetes or vitamin deficiency. Your dentist is trained to examine the entire mouth, including the tongue, lips and cheeks. Healthy oral tissues are often pink, firm and moist. Issues may appear in the form of dry mouth, infections such as thrush, painful sores, swelling, or tenderness. Your dentist is also trained to spot warning signs that may point to oral cancer and other serious issues.
Your dentist examines how your teeth fit together in your mouth. Teeth that are straight and aligned properly are much easier to brush and floss. Differences between the size of the upper and lower jaws or between the jaw and tooth size can causes overcrowding or abnormal bite patterns. This can impact chewing and normal digestion, and may be related to bruxism (clenching or grinding), gum disease, jaw disorders such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), migraines or other neurological symptoms, and even the overall shape of your face. Problems with teeth alignment are now easier, quicker, and less expensive to treat. Finding and treating the problem early allows for quicker results and more success.
Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health. We can help! Contact us today for a comprehensive oral exam.