Are Dentists Just Checking for Cavities During a Dental Exam? | Our Dental Blog
Are Dentists Just Checking for Cavities During a Dental Exam?
Jan 15 2020
There's more to a dental exam than looking for cavities. Health professionals advise us to have a dental exam twice a year because it's important. Regular dental exams still play an important role in ensuring your smile remains beautiful and for keeping you in good oral health, but these exams have the additional purpose of checking for ailments that aren't restricted to gums and teeth.
Routine dental exams help diagnose a wide variety of ailments. This is important as treatment for health problems tend to be most successful when detected early. If not caught in the early stages, some otherwise preventable ailments can cause major problems. However, it isn't only dental health issues, as some signs observed in a dental exam can be used to diagnose diseases elsewhere in your body.
Regular visits with your dentist can reduce the risk of some illnesses. Putting off professional cleanings will cause the bacteria in your mouth to turn into a biofilm on your teeth. These bacteria can find their way into your tissues and blood vessels, causing inflammation or illness elsewhere in your body.
You might be surprised to hear, but a dentist may also help save you from heart disease. As per the research conducted by the American Heart Association, those who do not have their regular exams and cleanings are at a 13% higher likelihood of having a stroke and a 24% greater risk of having a heart attack than those who have regular dental exams. Dentists can also refer a patient to a doctor if they notice high blood pressure.
A dentist may find symptoms such as gums that are swollen or bleeding, or tooth enamel erosion which could be indicators of diseases like eating disorders, osteoporosis, and acid reflux. If you are suffering from periodontal disease, it might be a sign you have diabetes. Oral candidiasis (a fungal infection) might be an indicator of a health issue like HIV, while mouth ulcers are associated with Crohn's disease.
As well as the above, dental exams screen for risk factors for potentially fatal diseases including oral cancer.
So now you understand why your regular appointments with Dr. Sato are so important.
Do you have your next appointment scheduled? If not, schedule now!