Why Is A Comprehensive Dental Exam Recommended During My First Visit With A New Dentist?
By completing a comprehensive exam at your first visit, unique risk factors are connected so you have a thorough understanding of your current oral condition and a collaborated plan of action can be formulated to help you improve and maintain your optimal oral wellness for a lifetime. This starts with a thorough understanding of your current medical condition and the medications you’re taking. A full set of X-rays are taken along with a periodontal and oral cancer exam, so not only the teeth but the surrounding supporting structures can be evaluated as well. Your bite and unique wear patterns are also assessed.
Why Does My Dentist Need My Complete List Of Medications And Allergies?
Because some medications can have side effects such as dry mouth, excessive gum growth, and increased clenching and grinding, all your medications need to be taken into account to provide you with the best possible care and optimal treatment outcomes. These are just a few of the medication side effects that can affect oral wellness.
What Are The Top Risk Factors Affecting Good Oral Wellness?
The top risks are cavities/decay, periodontal disease, and damage from clenching and grinding. The following are questions I commonly hear from my patients about each.
I Brush And Floss Daily, So How Can I Still Have A Cavity?
Factors such as the dryness of your mouth, your saliva’s unique pH, and its ability or inability to buffer the acidity in your mouth, along with how hydrated you stay all play a role in the development of decay.
Why Do My Gums Bleed?
Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation and often a sign of underlying periodontal infection or some other systemic issue. The longer certain “bad” bacteria are allowed to remain in the deeper pockets of your gums, the greater the risk they can travel into your bloodstream increasing your risk of stroke, heart attack, difficulty managing diabetes, and other inflammatory medical conditions.
My Jaws Don’t Hurt, So Why Do I Need A Night Guard?
It’s not unusual to have an absence of jaw pain but still have other signs of clenching and grinding. Chipping along the edges of your front teeth, shortening or flatness of your teeth, or V-shaped notches at the gumline indicate the need to protect your teeth with a night guard.
What Steps Can You Take To Decrease These Risks?
If you have a history of cavities, current decay, or dry mouth, in addition to your regular brushing and flossing, you need to be conscientious about staying hydrated and begin using a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste at night. If you have a history of periodontal disease, you should schedule more frequent visits. If you see signs of tooth wear, have jaw pain, or temporal headaches, ask your dentist to fabricate a custom night guard for you. Be proactive. Don’t wait until you have symptoms. Visit your dentist at least twice a year.
About The Expert
Brad Moss, DDS
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Brad Moss has treated generations of patients at his family dental practice
in Southlake. He handles all types of general dentistry, combining hometown care with the latest technology. Dr. Moss received his Doctorate in Dental Surgery with honors from the University of Texas Dental School in San Antonio.