While you may be visiting your dentist every 6 months (or as they recommend), you’re probably wondering what they’re really looking for during those checkups and cleanings. Even though it may be a routine visit and you don’t have any complaints about your teeth, your dentist will still check in and around your mouth to make sure they don’t see anything out of the ordinary. Often times, symptoms are overlooked or unnoticed, and for any dental condition, the earlier you’re able to catch it, the easier it is to treat. So, how does a dentist examine your smile?
What Your Dentist Is Looking For
Not only will your dentist be examining your teeth themselves, but they’ll also examine the entire area around your mouth – neck, face, jaw, etc. When examining these areas, however, they’re looking for lumps or bumps that could indicate potential cancers.
When it comes to your teeth, your dentist is looking for any signs of decay or other bacterial infection – like gum disease. The leading cause behind tooth loss is infection – and catching these diseases in their earliest form is the key to treating them. They may recommend x-ray images or use laser detection (DIAGNOdent) to get a better look at an infection (or to make sure there isn’t one present).
The health of your gum tissue is just as important as the health of your teeth. In fact, when your gums aren’t healthy, they can directly affect your teeth. For example, with gum disease, your gum tissue begins forming pockets around your teeth as it pulls away – sometimes causing them to become loose or even fall out altogether. But, often times, your dentist can stop these things from happening as long as they’re able to examine your smile regularly!