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What You May Not Know About Your Dental Checkups

June 14, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — silvercreekteam @ 5:09 pm
woman undergoing a dental checkup

It’s a common misconception that a dental checkup is only designed to check for cavities, gum disease, infection, and damage. While these preventive visits allow dentists to thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, there is a good chance that your dental professional is looking at other areas of your mouth as well. Keep reading to discover a few things you may not know about these visits and what your dentist may be looking for when checking your smile.

Your Dentist Performs an Oral Cancer Screening

It is believed that one person dies from oral cancer every hour in the United States. This unfortunate disease often falls under the radar of many healthcare professionals because its symptoms may not be detected until later on.

Dentists, however, can offer early detection when performing an oral cancer screening during a regular checkup. By checking your lymph nodes, cheeks, tongue, head, neck, and palate, they can determine if further testing is required.

Your Dentist Checks Your Salivary Glands

Your salivary glands are an essential component of your oral and overall health. Their ability to function properly is important, as their production helps to not only flush out any food particles or bacteria that exist in the mouth but also neutralize harmful acids that can lead to cavities, infection, and bad breath.

Your Dentist Checks Your Bite

There’s a good chance your dentist has told you to bite down during your regular checkup. This allows them to look at how your teeth come together. If there is a shift in your bite or it appears that your teeth show wear and tear, they may suggest further treatment.

Teeth grinding and clenching can cause a breakdown of tooth enamel as well as chronic jaw pain that can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). By checking your bite and discussing any symptoms you experience, your dentist can recommend appropriate treatment to minimize further damage and pain.

Your Dentist Checks Your Tonsils

If you are regularly experiencing strep throat or other types of throat or mouth infections, it may be that your tonsils need further examination. During your checkup, your dentist will look to see if this area of your throat is swollen. After further discussion, you may be recommended for a tonsillectomy.

Bacteria and infection can become trapped behind your tonsils, resulting in painful swallowing. You will likely be referred to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist to undergo additional testing to determine the best course of action.

Your mouth is a combination of many things: your teeth, gums, bite, soft oral tissues, glands, and more. Rest easy knowing that your dental checkups are more than just time spent looking for cavities; instead, it’s a chance to ensure that you maintain optimal oral and overall health throughout the year.

About the Practice
At Silver Creek Dentistry, our team believes in the benefits of preventive dentistry. Offering an array of services that are designed to identify problems in their earliest stages, we can reduce the potential for more serious issues down the road, such as tooth decay, gum disease, halitosis, oral cancer, and even decreased saliva production. If you have not visited your dentist lately but are ready to take back control of your oral health, visit our website or call (920) 748-7200 to learn more.