Did you know that your mouth is a window to your overall health?
At Thornton Dental we are acutely aware of the fact, which is why every time you visit us we check for a lot more than just cavities, in fact, our dentist is looking for wide range of possible problems that might indicate general health issues.
Your mouth can reveal signs of nutritional deficiencies, illnesses, and systemic infections. So when you come in for a checkup, your Thornton Dental dentist is giving you a fairly comprehensive health checkup.
Here are some of the things we are likely to look for during a regular checkup; things that you may be unaware of:
- Checking for diabetes. Gum infection can be a symptom of diabetes and people with diabetes are more likely to develop gum problems. During your routine check-up, we will look for symptoms of diabetes such as swelling gums, bone loss, or gum abscesses.
- Taking a whiff of your breath. Bad breath (halitosis) can be a sign of dental problems including gum disease, ill-fitting dental appliances, an infection in the mouth, or cavities. But bad breath can also be a symptom of general health problems including respiratory infections, sinus infections, and liver or kidney problems.
- Checking for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes weakening of bones and is most common in post-menopausal women and the very old. And while osteoporosis does not affect your teeth directly, it does cause changes in the bone that supports the teeth: Those changes can show up as receding gums and loose teeth.
- Assessing your at-home oral hygiene habits. By inspecting your tongue, teeth, gums, and surrounding areas, our staff can get an idea of where your at-home oral hygiene program is working and where it isn’t. For instance, if you show signs of plaque and tartar between the teeth, it may be a sign that your daily flossing isn’t optimally effective. Our staff will ask questions about your oral hygiene habits and suggest ways to improve your oral hygiene habits.
- Looking for evidence of high stress. Many people grind their teeth in response to stress. This grinding can wear down and chip your teeth. Because the grinding occurs during sleep, many sufferers are unaware of it. Your Thornton Dental dentist can diagnose it from existing damage. A customised night guard from Thornton Dental may help.
- Checking for heart health. There are surprising links between the condition of your dental health and your heart, and inflamed gums or loose teeth can be indications of heart disease. A Swedish study discovered that people with more infected pockets in the gums around the tooth base had a 53 per cent heightened risk of heart attack compared to those with the fewest pockets.
- Taking a look at your tongue. A healthy tongue is pink and covered with small nodules. And most tongue issues such as discolouration or soreness or are not serious. But in some cases, tongue issues may indicate vitamin deficiencies, oral cancer, AIDS, and other serious diseases.
- Looking at reflux. Enamel from the insides of teeth, especially upper back molars, can be a symptom gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD can cause enamel erosion, esophageal erosion, and even cancer. Reflux of stomach fluid often occurs at night, when you might not even be aware of it. Fortunately, at Thornton Dental we can detect the signs of it.
- Checking for dry mouth. Saliva is a crucial part of oral health as it helps sluice away bacteria and debris that can cause cavities or gum disease. The solutions to dry mouth can be a simple as increasing your fluid intake or using a saliva substitute.
- Checking for cancer. Early signs of cancer can remain hidden. So at every routine checkup, Thornton Dental scans for indications of mouth or throat cancer including sores or ulcers in the mouth that don’t heal, blocked salivary glands, lesions, unexplained bleeding, discoloured patches on the gums and tongue, cysts, and inflamed lymph nodes or neck glands. Related, we will look for too-sharp teeth, fillings, or dental appliances. These can cause chronic ulcers and in turn, lead to cancer over time.
What do all these checks mean? That every time you get a checkup at Thornton Dental, you are also investing in early detection of health issues – detection early enough to allow more straightforward and more effective treatment.
Why Choose Thornton Dental?
Our mission is to make dentistry affordable, without sacrificing quality of care.
- We focus on patient care
- Exceptional infection control
- Friendly, approachable and experienced team
- Child-friendly and relaxing environment
- Patient comfort, safety and satisfaction are our primary goals
- Customised care tailored to your specific needs
- Integrity, high standards, premium quality materials
- Anxiety control and pain management
Thornton Dental serves the community of Thornton, Beresfield, Tarro, Woodberry, East Maitland, Chisholm, Raymond Terrace, Green Hills, Metford, Ashtonfield, Tenambit, Morpeth, Lorn, Bolwarra Heights, and surrounding areas of Maitland.
Call (02) 4966 2996 or visit us at 9/1 Taylor Ave. in Thornton.