If you’re not in pain, do you need to visit the dentist? Yes!
Your dentist can see things you can’t. That’s one of the reasons regular dental exams are crucial to good oral health.
Dentists do a lot more than freshen your breath and clean your teeth. Dental exams can detect problems early before they become more serious. Potentially serious conditions can show signs in your mouth without you even knowing.
A simple oral exam from your family dentist can often identify if you’re at risk of serious issues to your overall health too, including diabetes, oral cancer, celiac disease and HIV/AIDS.
What can you expect?
Some of the things your dentist will look for during an exam include:
- Damaged, decayed or missing teeth
- Signs of gum disease
- Signs of cavities
- How previous dental work is holding up
- Early signs of mouth or throat cancer
- Position of your teeth
- Signs that you clench or grind your teeth
- Inspection of neck glands and lymph nodes
- Health and function of your temporomandibular joint (which joins the jaw to the skull)
- Suspicious growths or cysts
- Signs of bleeding or inflammation
General condition of the bones in your face, jaw and around your mouth
Read more about what your dentist will look for during an exam.
Keep your dentist in the know
It’s important to let your dentist know about your overall health so they can best treat your oral health care needs. Let your dentist know of any health conditions and medications you are taking even if they don’t seem pertinent. Talk to your dentist about any questions, concerns or changes to your overall health. View this checklist of things to discuss with your dentist.
How often should I visit the dentist?
How often you visit the dentist depends on your oral health care needs. For many, this is every six months. The frequency of your dental exams should be determined in consultation with your dentist.
Visit your dentist if you have any of these warning signs.