Home/General Dentistry/Improve Oral Health With Dental Cleanings & Exams

An alternate title for this might be, “Isn’t it pretty obvious if I have a problem with my teeth or my mouth? Why not wait? I am concerned to have my teeth professionally cleaned and examined.”

Severe gum disease before professional tooth cleaning

Healthy gums after a professional cleaning with Dr. Gillis and her hygienists.

Why Are Regular Dental Checkups Necessary?

Is the mouth above healthy? Are their conditions that can’t be seen or felt? Would you be surprised if I told you that there is a problem with the right front tooth? The gums are uneven and slightly red here for a reason and it will take a professional exam and an x-ray to determine the reason!

Look closer at the lower left. Is there a reason the tooth is so black here? It doesn’t hurt. These photos are only to help make you realize that you can’t often see what is going on in your own mouth and it is good to have a thorough examination and professional cleaning as often as necessary to keep you healthy.

Cleanings and exams are a necessary part of your overall health care. In our office, when you are scheduled for these services, we are also evaluating your mouth for signs of oral cancer and other diseases. We evaluate your jaw joint, your bite, the muscles that make chewing possible, and we compare our findings to what was occurring at your previous visits. And, of course, we check the health of your teeth and gums.

This patient feels their mouth is healthy. They floss often (see the lines where floss went through the tartar between the teeth?). They were unaware of bleeding gums and gum disease. This inflammation could progress to irreversible bone loss between the teeth. So, even though it is painless, only a dental professional can treat this infection.

Even severe gum disease like the photo shown below will be not be painful. The patient may be unaware of this condition which is easily treated with professional dental care.

If you would like to save money and have the healthiest mouth possible, it is necessary to do these things:

  • Brush and floss your teeth (or do something that is as good as brushing and flossing!)
  • Eat and drink a healthy diet.
  • Visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly

What Is the Benefit of a Dental Exam?

Problems with your teeth and gums are often not easily visible, even by a dentist. Decay (rotting) of the teeth may occur on any tooth surface susceptible to decay, and may exist below the gums or between the teeth where an x-ray is needed to evaluate for decay. Tooth decay is painless until the decay progresses close enough to the tooth nerve to cause damage. Think $$$ and possible loss of your tooth! Gum disease and periodontal disease is also painless. We see many people with these diseases that say their gums never bleed and we see bleeding with a gentle puff of air blown on the gums. It is very easy to miss the signs and symptoms of mouth diseases like cancer, decay, gum disease, and periodontal disease!

We care about your health. Please ask us about any concerns you might have!