During a visit, dentists will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth to help identify any potential signs of disease or tooth decay. The dentist’s goal is to help patients maintain oral health and to identify potential problems before becoming serious. There are several techniques a dentist will utilize to help identify issues and determine overall health.
The dentist may start with a visual check using a small mirror and hand light. The dentist will use these tools to check your gums as well as your teeth. This preliminary check is to identify gum disease and any other potential problems that may be easily visible. Such as loose teeth, damaged gums, plaque, or the presence bacteria that cause bad breath. As part of a routine check, the dentist will also want to have a look at the foundations of your gums. The dentist may use a small probe to gently test the area where the teeth meet the gums. By administering this check, the dentist can identify areas where gum disease is present. Some areas of the mouth may have a buildup of calcium deposits on the teeth, called calculus or tartar. If left untreated the gums can become inflamed around the calculus area. Oftentimes the dentist will offer suggestions for brushing, making the patient aware of areas where he or she may be neglecting during brushing. During evaluation, dentists will be looking for symptoms of these three main tooth aliments.
Dental plaque, a soft clear coating that collects on the surface of the teeth, comes from bacteria that live in your mouth. Most plaque can be scrapped off your teeth with a scaler, or significantly reduced by changing to a diet rich in fibrous and raw foods. Without a regular cleaning, build up of a thick coating will eventually cause damage to the tooth and ultimately produce cavities. Dental professionals will often check trouble areas, and may suggest additional attention to specific teeth in order to prevent future problems.
Cavities cause damage within the teeth structure and are common in tooth disease. Painful if not treated immediately, cavities may lead to tooth decay or tooth loss. When food is caught between teeth and combined with the saliva and bacteria in your mouth, the plaque grows sugar bacterial acids that dissolve the teeth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Treatment involves drilling out the disease tooth and filling it with composite resin, gold or dental amalgam. If the procedure is administered in its development, the cavity will cause less pain and is considerably less expensive to treat.
Halitosis or Bad Breath:
Halitosis, or bad breath, comes from protein broken down by bacteria inside the mouth. Dentist may suggest certain mouthwashes or toothpastes containing the compound stabilized chlorine dioxide, which appear to help in eliminating bad breath by breaking down sulfur compounds in the mouth. In addition to these common ailments, your dentist will also look to identify less common diseases such as Amelogenesis imperfecta, Dentinogenesis imperfect, TMJ disorders, Siogren’s syndrome, taste disorders and oral cancer. Dentists may also make suggestions for cosmetic dentistry; provide tips for improved oral health or treatments, and make recommendations for specialized care.