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You may think that dental exams are only about your teeth, but they actually encompass much more. A dental exam is a time for you and your dentist to review your health history. Your dentist will want to know about any medications you are taking and any issues you may be having with your health. In addition, let your dentist know if you have had any surgeries or major medical procedures.
Dental Exams and Your Health
What does your physical health have to do with your teeth? Some medications may have side effects that impact your oral health, like dry mouth. Conditions like diabetes and pregnancy also impact your teeth. During your dental exam, be sure to let your dentist know about any problems you may be having with your teeth or gums. Share your overall health history and status with your dentist. This allows our professionals to make sure your teeth are healthy for the long term.
Why Are Teeth Cleanings Important?
It’s important to visit our office to get your regular teeth cleaning in Haverford. Most experts recommend having a professional teeth cleaning every six months. Even if you are meticulous about brushing your teeth at home, you still need to set aside time for us to clean your teeth. Why? Our dental hygienists use professional equipment that cleans your teeth in ways that your home toothbrush can’t. Our special polishers and toothpaste remove plaque that builds up on your teeth. In addition, our hygienists have years of training and special tools they use to remove stubborn plaque from below your gum line. This is an area your toothbrush can’t reach. Plus, we’ll floss thoroughly and check your gum tissue for any deep pockets that may cause problems. Visiting our office for a cleaning also allows us to examine your teeth and identify any cavities or other problems. While a professional deep cleaning of your teeth may seem unnecessary, it’s vitally important to maintaining your oral health.
Gum Therapy and Gingivitis
If you think you may have gum disease, our dentists can help. Contact us right away to schedule a dental exam in Haverford if you notice receding gums or bleeding when you brush or floss. These are early signs of gingivitis, which can lead to gum disease if not treated properly. Gum disease treatment requires a careful assessment of your risk factors and how you care for your teeth at home. If caught early, we can prevent gingivitis from progressing into periodontal disease. We can also provide gum therapy and root planing to treat gum disease. During gum therapy, our dentists scale the roots of your teeth to remove any plaque and promote gum healing. In serious cases, surgery may be needed to restore gum tissue and remove the infection. Our dentists will work closely with you to develop a periodontal treatment plan for you. Our goal is to help you keep your teeth and avoid getting dentures whenever possible.
Bad Breath Management
If you have chronic bad breath, you’re probably wondering what causes it and what you can do to cure it. Bad breath can be caused by many factors:
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Infections in the mouth
- Eating certain foods
Mints or gum are just a temporary solution. Our professional dentists can help you get to the root cause of your bad breath and develop a treatment plan to help manage it. A common cause for bad breath is leftover particles of food in and around your teeth. If you don’t brush or floss them away, these food particles can increase the bacteria in your mouth and lead to bad breath. In rare cases, bad breath could be a sign of a serious infection or a metabolic disorder. Bad breath could also be caused by ill-fitting dentures or crowns that need to be replaced. If you’re not sure what’s causing your bad breath, we can help. Contact our office today to schedule a dental exam in Haverford and discuss your treatment options.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Test?
As part of your dental exam in our office, our professionals conduct an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer can occur in your lips, gum, mouth, tongue, or throat. If the cancer is caught early, it’s much easier to treat. Our test for oral cancer is non-invasive and painless. We use both sight and touch to detect signs of oral cancer. We’ll carefully feel along your neck and jaw to check for abnormal lumps and swelling. We’ll visually inspect your gums, lips, and the back of your throat. We’ll also check the sides of your tongue and gently lift your tongue to look underneath it. If we find any areas of concern, we’ll discuss them with you and talk about next steps. Oral cancers are uncommon, but we want you to stay as healthy as possible. If you have any questions about oral cancer testing, just ask us while you’re in the office and we’ll be happy to answer them.