In this post, we wanted to share some things you might not know that your dentist is doing during your routine cleaning or checkup.
- Smelling your breath. That sounds weird, right? But bad breath can be a symptom of several things including cavities, salivary gland issues, acid reflux, poor dental hygiene, or infection in the mouth, nose, or throat. Of course, the dentist isn’t going to announce that he’s taking a whiff, but he is, and he’s scanning for any early issues or warning signs.
- Checking for gum disease. While you think he’s just poking around in your mouth cleaning plaque, he’s also observing your gums and observing the gaps between the gums and teeth. A larger than normal gap between gums and teeth could indicate gum disease. Gums that are reddish or easily irritated could be the result of gingivitis.
- Looking at tongue health. Consistent sores on your tongue can sometimes indicate a vitamin deficiency, so if your dentist notices anything unusual on your tongue, he’s going to ask some follow-up questions, just to make sure that all is well.
- Studying the layers of the teeth. X-rays enable your dentist to see the inside layers of the teeth: the dentin and the cementum. He probably took a look at those x-rays and your medical history before coming in to sit beside you, so you don’t necessarily see that part of the process, but just know that it is happening behind the scenes.
- Observing your jaw and bite. If there are any shifts in alignment or unusual tension patterns, he’ll make note of that and ask some questions.
That’s a little “behind the scenes” peek at what some of the less noticeable things going on during your routine cleaning. Now that you’re “in the know” on these things, you can keep an eye out for them and try to notice when your dentist is doing these things. The secrets are out! Seriously, though we value your trust and want to make the most of every appointment.