A general dentist is the best source to ask when looking for ways to prevent a toothache. Scheduling an appointment for a toothache is one activity we would love to avoid. We all know that we should go to the dentist every six months to prevent cavities, but there are times when toothaches decide to…
General Dentistry: What Diseases Dentists May Detect During a Check-Up
A common misconception is that check-up visits are only necessary if there are possible oral health concerns and that they are limited in the concerns that they can detect. However, general dentistry check-up visits allow for the early detection (and possible prevention) of various oral health and general health diseases.
Diseases and conditions that a general dentist may detect
Several diseases and conditions that can be detected during general dentistry check-up visits include periodontal disease, oral cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The following review discusses exactly how a check-up visit can detect these conditions early and ways in which a general dentist may be able to intervene before the condition worsens.
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a relatively common oral health condition in which the gums and underlying jawbone become infected and damaged. During a check-up visit, the general dentist can check for signs of periodontal disease such as sensitive gums, gum swelling, gum recession, deep gum pockets, and more. This allows the dentist to recommend effective ways of dealing with the disease before it worsens.
General dentists also check for signs of oral cancer during regular check-up visits. This includes sores, white and red patches, unexplained pain, and more. A regular check-up does not confirm the presence of oral cancer, but detecting the early signs of the condition can allow for a biopsy to determine if the concern in question is cancer or another type of issue that needs to be addressed.
Patients with diabetes are more prone to oral health concerns. Also, diabetes symptoms may become worse among patients with both diabetes and oral health concerns as well. If the mouth is dry and sore, for example, then it could suggest diabetes is a contributing factor. Of course, there are many other possible explanations, but there are times when a diabetes diagnosis first begins with a check-up at a general dentistry practice.
Studies have suggested that there is a correlation between gum disease and an increased risk of heart disease. This means the patients with gum disease may find their overall health to benefit from treatment. This is particularly a concern for patients who may already be at risk of heart disease due to other risk factors not related to oral health.
How to improve your oral and overall health
In addition to brushing and flossing regularly to help prevent concerns such as gum disease, patients should also make a strong effort to quit smoking and consuming alcohol as much as possible, in addition to implementing a healthy diet and a consistent exercise routine.
Schedule a dental check-up with our general dentistry practice
We encourage patients to schedule a visit once every four to six months here at our general dentistry practice. This allows us to ensure our patients are in ideal oral health and do not have any signs of oral health (or general health) conditions such as those discussed above. Call us today or send us a message to schedule your next check-up visit.
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