The mouth is often considered a window to the rest of the body because many other illnesses first present themselves as changes within the mouth. As a result, a comprehensive oral exam is recommended each time you visit a new practice to serve as a benchmark of your overall health.
During an examination, your dentist will perform a visual examination as well as a more detailed dental examination using one or more X-rays to detect:
- New cavities
- Weaknesses in already installed crowns, fillings, and bridgework
- Gum or bone recession
- Teeth deterioration due to abnormal bite, bruxism, or TMJ
Your dentist will also perform a visual and digital examination of lymph nodes throughout the face and neck, looking for any abnormalities, pain or flexibility within the nodes that could be markers for disease. Likewise, a similar examination of your lips, gums, tongue, and other internal mouth surfaces will be conducted. Again, this is to seek out any signs of illness or disease.
Since the comprehensive dental exam is designed to set a baseline of your health and to catch any early signs of serious illness that may be otherwise undetected, your dentist will be on the lookout for the following illnesses which can be detected during a comprehensive oral evaluation:
- Blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Oral cancer
- Immune abnormalities
- Sinus problems
With a comprehensive exam every six months, we can manage small dental problems before they grow into larger, more complicated issues. Keep up to date with thorough dental checkups at Markham Family Dentistry. Call us at 501-664-6888 to schedule an appointment.
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Gentle Professional Cleanings
Everyone over the age of four or five should visit their dentist for professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year. It's a procedure for the removal of tartar that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach during routine toothbrushing. Professional cleaning includes an examination of your teeth and gums, tooth scaling (removal of plaque) and tooth polishing. It involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. At Markham Family Dentistry, we provide comfortable, gentle hygiene cleanings. If we find a cause for concern, we may recommend a deep gum cleaning to remove tartar below the gum line, smooth out surfaces where plaque builds up and eliminate bacterial infection.
Important Reasons to Get Professional Cleanings
- To detect possible health risks, such as oral cancer and gum disease
- To prevent tooth loss
- To maintain good physical health
- To eliminate bad breath
- To have a brighter, whiter smile
The Teeth Cleaning Process
- Physical exam, using a small mirror to check teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis or other concerns
- Removal of plaque and tartar, using a scaler
- Gritty toothpaste cleaning, using a high-powered electric brush
- Expert flossing by the dental hygienist
- Rinsing, to get rid of any debris
- Applying fluoride treatment, to help fight against cavities for several months
Regular, professional teeth cleaning is vital to maintaining your oral health. Call Markham Family Dentistry at 501-664-6888 today.
If you're experiencing chronic headaches and migraines because of involuntary night-time teeth clenching, let Markham Family Dentistry help you with a night guard. A night guard is a thin, transparent device that is worn over the biting surface of your teeth while you sleep to prevent contact between the upper and lower teeth. Night guards have also proven to be an effective remedy for patients who are suffering from the effects of grinding and clenching their teeth while sleeping.Read more about Night Guards
Oral Cancer Screening
The dental community is the first line of defense in early detection of oral cancer. The goal of oral cancer screening is to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions that may lead to mouth cancer at an early stage — when cancer or lesions are easiest to remove and most likely to be cured. When found at the early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80-90% survival rate. Early detection is imperative!Read more about Oral Cancer Screening
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Struggling with snoring and sleeplessness? Call your dentist. Snoring and sleep disturbances are often signs of obstructive sleep apnea, and your oral health could be to blame. The condition causes repeated breathing interruptions throughout the night; the pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 30 or more times per hour. They happen because the airway is obstructed.
The first sign of sleep apnea is often tooth grinding (bruxism). Dentists look for worn tooth surfaces, a sign that a patient grinds his or her teeth. Grinding is just one oral health sign of sleep apnea. Other signs are a small jaw, a tongue with scalloped edges, or redness in the throat (caused by excessive snoring, which is another symptom of sleep apnea).Read more about Sleep Apnea