The New Year is a wonderful time to think about all the possible ways to live better and fuller lives. Losing weight, quitting bad habits like smoking, making a career change, or spending more time with your family or friends are common themes for New Year’s resolutions. But have you ever thought about putting your oral health on that list of goals and aspirations?
Kavitha Gowda, DDS, and our dental and professional team at Perfect Smiles Dentistry share thoughts on why starting the year off with an oral exam is the right thing to do.
You may be thinking that a typical oral exam can’t possibly be as important as things like losing weight and quitting smoking. Let’s start by taking a deep dive into what actually happens during an oral exam.
Keeps small dental issues from turning into big problems
There are two key segments of the typical oral examination — the actual examination or check-up and a professional cleaning. During the check-up, we perform a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. If needed, we take dental X-rays as well. The purpose of the oral exam is to check for cavities; identify failing restorations like crowns, bridges or fillings; and determining the health of your gums.
We measure the pockets, or the space between your teeth and gums, to determine whether you have gum disease. The lower the number, the more shallow the space and the healthier your gums are. Catching gum disease early on is as essential as catching a developing cavity. These dental issues caught early can prevent big issues like irreversible gum disease or a root canal or tooth extraction, making an oral examination anything, but routine.
Takes at-home care to the next level
The professional cleaning aspect of an oral examination reinforces at-home oral care. After all, even the most vigilant brusher and flosser can’t clean teeth as well as a professional.
During an in-office cleaning, we perform a process called scaling, using special equipment to remove tartar, the hardening plaque that you can’t remove by simple brushing and flossing at home. If left untreated, the bacteria in plaque can not only result in tooth decay, but also result in damage to tooth enamel, infections, and gum disease.
Besides all these important benefits of a professional cleaning, who doesn’t love that clean feeling and beautiful, bright smile it gives you?
Oral health connects with overall health
Like most people, you probably think of your teeth and gums when you think of an oral or dental examination, but an oral examination is so much more. Did you know that many systemic health issues, like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even obstructive sleep apnea, have oral symptoms?
While we’re checking your teeth and gums, we may notice signs and symptoms of other health issues you need to address. Since many people see their dentist more often than their primary care doctor, the oral examination is an important part of a patient’s preventive health program.
And as if all of that isn’t reason enough to start your year right by scheduling an oral exam, each oral exam includes a thorough look at your tongue, throat, head, and neck for symptoms of cancer.
Start your New Year with an oral exam. Contact Kavitha Gowda, DDS, and the dental and professional team at Perfect Smiles Dentistry in Everett, Washington. Book your appointment using the online tool or call today.