Think your biannual visits to your dentist are nothing more than a quick sweep for cavities? Think again! In reality, these appointments play a crucial role in the condition of both your oral and overall health. To get a better understanding of why your routine checkups are important, keep reading to learn six things your dentist does at your visit.
#1. Screen for Oral Cancer
With an estimated 54,000 cases each year, it’s important that your dentist dedicates a portion of their exam to screening for oral cancer. To do so, they will take a look at the floor of your mouth, your tongue, and the soft tissue in your mouth. If they see anything concerning, like white and red patches, they will bring it to your attention so you can schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.
#2. Examine Your Tongue
Not only does your tongue take up quite a bit of real estate in your mouth, but it also can give your dentist valuable insight into the condition of your oral health. So, they will examine the surface, paying close attention to the color and texture.
#3. Inspect Your Gums
Although your teeth often steal the spotlight when it comes to oral health, your gums are equally as important. Plus, roughly 50% of American adults have gum disease! Since conditions like these need to be detected and treated in the early stages, your dentist will screen for common warning signs, like inflammation and redness.
#4. Check Your Temporomandibular Joint
Have you ever heard of your temporomandibular joint? It’s where your jawbone and skull connect. If it becomes inflamed or damaged, then there are a number of complications that can arise, including persistent jaw pain and frequent headaches. That’s why your dentist checks it at each and every appointment to ensure it is functioning optimally.
#5. Assess Your Bite
Premature wear and tear, chronic teeth grinding, and worsened misalignment are a few consequences of an uneven bite. If yours is misaligned, then your dentist can help you determine the best course of action, like getting braces to correct it or wearing a mouthguard to prevent further damage.
#6. See Where There Is Room for Improvement
Naturally, your dentist will take note of their findings and communicate where there is room for improvement. Is the color of your tongue a bit off? Then they may recommend adding a tongue scraper to your oral hygiene regimen. Are your gums slightly inflamed? Then they may review how to floss properly.
Now you know a few of the many reasons why your routine dental checkups and cleanings are so important!
About the Author
Leading our team at Newport Dental Associates is Dr. Nicholas Baldelli. After graduating with honors from the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, he completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency at Boston University. Over the years, he’s undergone additional training on endodontics, oral surgery, and more. If you want to learn more about the importance of preventive dentistry or you’d like to schedule your next checkup and cleaning, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call (401) 847-7662.