The cleaning you receive from your hygienist during a routine dental checkup is majorly beneficial to your oral health, but routine visits involve more than just a cleaning. A checkup gives your dentist an opportunity to examine your overall oral health, and identify problems before you notice symptoms. A routine checkup also allows your dentist to screen you for signs of oral cancer. It is important to fully disclose any existing health problems when you meet with your dentist, as something you consider unrelated to your oral health could stem from issues that your dentist can diagnose.

Preemptive Dental Care

Even if your mouth is free of existing problems like cavities and gum disease, your dentist can check for conditions that predispose you to oral health risks. Your dentist may determine that you exhibit signs of xerostomia, commonly called dry mouth, a condition that increases your risk for developing cavities. If you carry a higher cavity risk, you could benefit from dental sealants, which provide added protection for your teeth from the accumulation of plaque and food debris. Your dentist can also screen you for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer is potentially fatal, and early detection and treatment greatly increase your odds of recovery.

Make The Most Of Your Checkup

It is important to share any issues you are having with your dentist. Something you may not equate to oral health – like trouble sleeping, or increased snoring – could be signs of sleep apnea, and can be treated by your dentist. If you are experiencing headaches or jaw soreness, it could be evidence of bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can damage your teeth and jaw joints if left untreated.