Why Are Dental Check-Ups important?
Regular dental check-ups are important as they offer an opportunity for your dentist to carry out a thorough health check of your mouth, teeth and gums. Your dentist will make sure that your dental health is at its optimum and offer advice on how to improve it, if it is not!
A regular dental check-up appointment also allows your dentist to monitor your mouth and to spot any potential problems, early, so that they can be addressed before they become a bigger issue or cause you any symptoms.
What do we look at in a Dental Check-Up?
During a dental check-up, your dentist will start by carrying out a thorough assessment of your oral hygiene routine. This includes not only a discussion about how you take care of your teeth at home (which we can offer advice on) but will also take into account your regular dietary habits, lifestyle and general health issues.
For instance, we will discuss how much sugar you consume in your diet in the form of sugary food and drinks which will help us assess whether you’re at risk of tooth decay. We may discuss general health issues and how this can affect your mouth disease risks and impact your oral hygiene measures. For example, gum disease and infections have a strong association with diabetes and heart-disease. Arthritis in the hands may be affecting your ability to clean all your teeth adequately. Your dentist is able to offer advice on how best to manage your mouth with such conditions.
Smoking and alcohol consumption is a known factor in the development of oral cancer, this will also be discussed as part of your dietary and lifestyle choices. We are also able to signpost you towards effective smoking cessation help. Regular dental check-ups allow the dentist to screen for mouth cancer and ensure any suspicious lesions are managed appropriately.
Using all of this information will help us put together a package of treatment and advice in accordance with NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines.
What else do we check?
The health of your teeth starts in the gums. We conduct a periodontal screening to assess the health of your gums and underlying bone structure and the appearance of your gums.
This is because the colour of your gums is the first indication of whether there is an issue or not; red and swollen or bleeding gums will indicate that there is a problem which will require treatment. Healthy gums don’t bleed, so if this is happening, the gums are not happy and in need of some expert advice and treatment.
We will also be looking for any signs of gum recession which will be indicated by gaps between the teeth and the gums. In severe cases of gum disease, the teeth may become loose and uncomfortable and affect your eating and chewing. Effective removal of the dental plaque that builds up on our teeth is key to healthy, strong gums. This can be improved with the right guidance from your dentist and hygienist. We want to help you to keep your natural teeth for longer.