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Has It Been Too Long Since Your Last Dental Exam?
According to the American Dental Association, a person’s dentist should set their exam intervals. Most dentists say their adult patients in good oral health should have a routine exam every six months. If your dentist feels you are at a higher than average risk of decay or gum disease, he or she will want to see you more often.
We want our patients to have the nicest possible smile and teeth free from pain. We don’t care how long it has been since your last exam. You’ll find our dental team non-judgmental; you won’t hear any lectures from us. We want our patients to feel comfortable coming in for a dental exam.
During your exam:
- Your dentist will order x-rays
- You’ll have a thorough examination of your teeth and gums
- Your dentist will inspect any fillings in your mouth
- You’ll have a mouth cancer screening
- Your dentist will evaluate your risk for gum disease
If your exam uncovers any issues, your dentist will explain your treatment options and let you decide what is best for you. We make it clear what treatments are necessary for your oral health and which ones are elective so you can make an informed decision about your care. Coming in every six months allows your dentist to see how well you care for your teeth. He or she can help you get on the right track and possibly avoid future dental problems.
If you need an appointment for a dental exam in Clearwater, call our office. A friendly voice will greet you, welcoming you to our practice. When you enter our office, each person you meet will greet you warmly and be attentive to your needs.
What Are Dental Cleanings and Gum Disease Treatments Like?
Teeth cleanings are usually painless. If you haven’t kept up with your oral hygiene, you may feel discomfort as our hygienist scrapes the tartar (hardened plaque) away from your teeth. Our dentist can administer a topical anesthetic to ease any discomfort. After our hygienist removes all the tartar, he or she will polish your teeth with a gritty toothpaste to remove minor stains and to smooth out your teeth so tartar will not stick to them. Finally, you’ll receive a professional flossing and a fluoride treatment.
Dentists often use dental cleanings as a gum disease treatment for gingivitis. Gingivitis generally starts when tartar irritates your gums at the gum line. Gums can become swollen, red and you may see blood when you brush your teeth. Untreated gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, so having a teeth cleaning is highly recommended if you want to avoid periodontal treatment. Periodontal disease can make chewing painful as your teeth become loose. Gingivitis is gum inflammation, while periodontal disease is bone inflammation or infection. At this stage, your jawbone cannot hold your tooth firmly anymore.
Do Dentists Treat Chronic Bad Breath?
Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, generally originates in the mouth so your dentist is the ideal person to see for a bad breath cure. A build-up of odor-causing bacteria is usually to blame. A dental cleaning will remove plaque, and afterward, your hygienist will show you proper at-home oral care, including ways to keep your tongue clean. She may recommend products to use, such as an antibacterial mouthwash. Do not use a mouthwash with alcohol; this dries out your mouth and makes it easier for plaque to stick to your teeth. Medications that dry your mouth out can also contribute to breath odor. Drink lots of water to negate the effect or chew sugarless gum. Mouth odor can also come from decay or gum disease. You don’t have to be one of the 25 percent of Americans with chronic bad breath; call us today to schedule an appointment with our dentist.
Is an Oral Cancer Screening Part of a Dental Exam?
Yes, like many dentists today, we incorporate screenings for oral cancer into exams. Adults should have a screening every year. However, if you use tobacco and drink alcohol and are over age 40, our dentist may suggest you have one every six months. People who drink excessively and smoke or chew tobacco have the highest risk of contracting oral cancer. Anyone, regardless of their risk factors, can get oral cancer. If not detected early, oral cancer may be life-threatening. Every hour, an American dies from oral cancer, yet you hear less about the disease that you do other cancers. Our dentist can show you how to do a monthly self-screening to catch any potential issues as early as possible, when treatment is the most effective.
For a comprehensive dental exam in Clearwater that includes a screening for oral cancer,
call our office to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you.