3 Important Things Dentists Can Detect During Routine Cleanings And Exams

If you think that missing dental cleanings is not a "big deal," you are mistaken. This important service offered by dentists is more than a way to clean teeth. Some individuals assume that they can save money by brushing and flossing their teeth as recommended. These are vital at-home ways to take care of teeth between professional cleanings and exams. However, daily dental hygiene regimens cannot provide full protection. The average individual is not adept enough to identify subtle changes in their mouth and whether what they see is a sign of a serious issue. Tartar is tooth plaque that hardens and adheres to teeth. It must be removed by dentists, and if it is doesn't get removed, it can lead to tooth decay. The following points identify things that dental cleaning appointments can help discover.

Gum Disease

This is a dental condition that is treatable in its early stages. The initial symptoms may appear as tender and swollen gums that bleed. Bleeding is usually light and may be dismissed as being something caused by something such as using a new toothbrush. Dentists can identify gum disease and start treatments. Sometimes this issue can clear up on its own but is likely to return. Routine dental appointments aid in identifying the problem and potential contributing factors such as tobacco use.

Tooth Decay

Individuals who assume that they do not have cavities based on the appearance of their teeth may be surprised when they get dental cleanings and exams. Decay may affect teeth in the posterior of the mouth. The cavities may not be dark or cause pain. This can lead to the assumption that an individual does not have cavities. The decay will advance if it is not treated, and it can lead to worse circumstances such as mandatory tooth extractions.

Damaged Restorations

Individuals who have dental restorations need to ensure that they get dental exams and cleanings as recommended by their dentists. Restorations such as dental fillings and crowns may appear to be intact. However, they can loosen over time and will be unable to perform their intended protective purpose. This puts teeth at risk for further damage, and the longer the issue is left unaddressed, the more likely it is that an extraction or complex solution will be required. Restorations can last for many years and are considered semi-permanent. Dentists from a clinic like John B Webster DDS can make replacement restorations and assess oral health to determine if other services such as root canals are needed to preserve the natural teeth.