You know you need to come in for two dental hygiene visits per year, but aside from keeping your teeth nice and clean, do you know why you need to come in? Not only does your hygienist keep their eyes open for a range of things from cavities to cancer (which we spoke about in a blog post here), but when a dentist does their checkups they are also keeping an eye on a number of surprising things.
- Checking Your Gums: It’s estimated that between a 30 – 50% of adults have gum disease in North America. That’s a staggering number, but did you know that the state of your gum health also offers a glimpse into your overall health? Periodontitis, or gum disease, has the potential to spread bacteria to vital organs.
- Bad Breath: Bad breath can indicate a host of dental problems. Persistent bad breath may be a warning sign of cavities, dry mouth, gum disease, dental appliances that don’t fit properly, respiratory infections or even acid reflux.
- Examining your Tongue: Though most causes of tongue soreness or discolouration aren’t serious, but in some cases tongue pain could indicate vitamin deficiencies, AIDS or oral cancer. A healthy tongue should be covered in small nodules and be in pink in colour.
- Checking Tooth Enamel: Enamel is vital to the health of our teeth. It is the outermost layer of the tooth that is strong and protective. But because enamel isn’t invincible, your Dentist assesses it to make sure it isn’t chipping, cracking, or decaying. Many things in our daily lives can damage enamel- from soda pop, sugary snacks, and using at home whitening irresponsibly- so it is vital to ensure it stays intact.
- Checking for Cancer: Some types of cancers present early warning signs in your mouth. Dental checkups are vital to ensure that there aren’t any signs being overlooked. For example block salivary glands and white lesions in the mouth are just two possible signs that your dentist is on the lookout for.
Your bi-annual visits to the dental office are important for more than just ensuring you don’t have cavities. Good oral health can often indicate indicator that your overall health is good as well.
Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!