In order to keep your mouth and teeth healthy, it’s important to have regular oral health exams. This helps the dentist to find and treat any issues that may arise. The dental exam involves a number of steps, including examining the health of your gums, your teeth, and your jaw. It is also an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your overall health and your dental care.
Before the actual oral health exams, the dentist will ask you a few questions about your medical history. This can include things like smoking, alcohol use, and medications. These questions will help the dentist to determine your risk for various infections. If you have any allergies to certain medicines, it’s important to share this information with your dentist. Your doctor may also recommend that you see an expert if you have specific concerns about your dental health.
During the examination, your doctor will check your tongue, lips, and other soft tissues of your mouth. He or she will use a small mouth mirror to examine your teeth. Using this tool, your doctor will also look for cavities and weakened enamel.
During the oral health exams, your dentist will also perform x-rays. X-rays can be used to find fractures, cavities, and other types of problems that are not visible during the dental exam. X-rays can also reveal hidden signs of diseases such as bone loss in the jaw. Seeing these areas on an x-ray will allow your doctor to better evaluate the condition of your teeth and determine if you need a special treatment.
Depending on the condition of your teeth, your dentist may want to perform a professional cleaning. This includes removing plaque and tartar. After the procedure, your teeth will feel cleaner and look brighter. Afterward, you should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes to prevent cavities. Also, don’t drink sugary drinks for at least a few hours after brushing. Changing your toothbrush every three to four months will help you maintain good dental hygiene.
Once the oral health exams are complete, your dentist will discuss your findings with you. He or she will then explain any recommendations you have for improving your oral health. You can ask the dental hygienist for additional tips and advice on how to better take care of your teeth.
Besides the standard oral health exams, your dentist might also perform a comprehensive oral exam. During this type of examination, your doctor will also look for oral cancer and other serious conditions. During this kind of exam, your doctor will look for signs of inflammation, abnormal swelling, and other signs of oral cancer. Other oral disorders, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, HIV, and other illnesses can be detected early through a comprehensive oral exam.
While an oral exam can be a painless process, there are some potential complications. For example, if you have a loose tooth, your dentist might tell you to see an oral surgeon for a biopsy. Likewise, if the gums seem tender, they might be a sign of gum disease.