At times, our patients schedule their appointments, not wanting x-rays taken or thorough oral screenings. They trust their regular dental cleanings will be adequate. However, it is important for you to know that complete oral exams, including x-rays, can help save your life.
Proper dental care is extremely important. Without quality oral health care, there can be negative effects on overall health. Visiting Dr. Mary Gaddis for regular check-ups, including proper x-rays and oral cancer screenings, is necessary for optimal oral health.
Our professional dental cleanings are most beneficial for plaque build up and stains that might have been missed during brushing and flossing. It is recommended by the ADA to visit a dentist at least twice per year but Dr. Gaddis may recommend more frequent cleanings based on your individual needs. Besides cleaning and polishing, we will offer at-home suggestions for the prevention of tartar and staining.
Typically, dental x-rays, or radiographs, are used to aid dentists in detecting tooth damage, decay and disease. However, recent discoveries have found that x-rays may be useful with assisting in the diagnosis of heart disease. Studies have shown that heart disease is linked to periodontitis, or gum disease, and x-rays can assist in identifying the presence of periodontitis. Also, those with severe periodontitis are at risk of developing atherosclerotic plaque, which can cause strokes.
Perhaps most importantly, routine oral cancer screenings are significant during oral examinations. If patients notice oral cancer symptoms inside the mouth, which include white or red patches, long lasting sores or unexplained bleeding, see a dentist right away. These symptoms are not always detectable without a thorough exam by a dentist. Our dentists are certified to help detect and diagnose oral cancer. Without screenings, patients risk developing more serious and risky health problems. Studies have shown that oral cancer is responsible for the death of one American adult every hour.
Checkups, x-rays and thorough screenings have the potential to help recognize and evaluate dental and other overall health problems that may otherwise go undetected. For more information about our comprehensive oral exams or to schedule an appointment, please contact our Durham dentist.