It is recommended that you see the dentist every six months. Some people choose to break this routine because of cost or just anxiety. These visits are essential for keeping your gums and teeth healthy. Read on to find out how skipping your regular checkup could prevent the discovery of a serious health problem.
What Is A Dental Exam?
Your comprehensive dental examination is performed by your family dentist. It allows your dentist to uncover clues about your overall health. Your orthodontist will check to see if your tooth enamel is worn down. Worn down enamel is a sign of stress and of teeth grinding at night.
During this examination, your dentist will look at your teeth, gums, tongue, throat and jaws. It is common for a dentist to look for symptoms that are of a non-dental origin.
Look for Abnormalities With Your Lymph Nodes
Your jaw, neck and lymph nodes are checked during a dental examination. The lymph nodes are located just below your jawline. Your orthodontist is looking for lumps, abnormalities and swelling in this area.
The lymph nodes are one of those areas that does not hurt or seem out of the ordinary. For these reasons, a problem is usually caught when doing an examination for something else. If your dentist catches any abnormalities, then he or she will refer you to a medical doctor. Swollen lymph nodes can be a sign of thyroid problems, cancer or some other serious condition.
Detection Of Oral Cancer
In the early onset of oral cancer, the symptoms can develop in a variety of ways. For this reason, the cancer is often not diagnosed. This is not a good thing. Oral cancer can progress quickly and become life threatening.
Dentists are trained to recognize the symptoms and can catch the disease during a checkup. However, your dentist may also recommend a cancer exam. It is painless and does not take long. This exam can find dead tissues in your mouth that is invisible to the naked eye. These dead tissues come from tumors. Your dentist can see the tissue by using a special light inside of your mouth. When caught early, oral cancer is treatable.
Some people are afraid to go to the orthodontist because of being afraid of the outcome. However, regular visits will eliminate this anxiety. A regular checkup can reveal things previously mentioned and more. Unfortunately, oral issues can develop and progress very quickly. If you are behind on your checkups, then you should schedule an appointment today. Contact a dental office, like Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates, for more help.