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 previously placed crowns, fillings, and bridgework
- Gum or bone recession
- Tooth wear 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.
The comprehensive dental exam is designed to set a baseline of your health and to catch any early signs of serious illness that may otherwise be undetected. Your dentist will be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of 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 North Port Oral Surgery and Dental Care . Call us at 941-423-1750 to schedule an appointment.
FluorideRead more about Fluoride
Custom-fit mouth guards are prescribed and created by a dental professional from thermoplastic material and are based on a detailed mold taken of your mouth and teeth. They can be made for either sports or for nighttime teeth grinding and are created differently depending on the intended use. They're highly personalized, as your dentist can adjust the thickness of the mouthguard, and they're designed to fit perfectly in your mouth with no adjustments needed.
First, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This is generally done using a dental putty that forms to all the crevices of each tooth and creates an exact mold of your smile. The mold is then sent to the lab, where the actual mouthguard is created. The structure is made by layering superheated plastic to precise specifications and is then cooled to create an extremely durable piece of dental wear.
Because custom mouth guards are so precisely made, they are able to provide you with optimal safety and comfort. The level of protection afforded by custom-fitted mouthguards is unrivaled by any other mouthguard, and their durability is enhanced by the snug shape, which hugs each tooth closely, eliminating unwanted movement.
For more information on customized mouth guards, please call North Port Oral Surgery and Dental Care at 941-423-1750 today.
If you're experiencing chronic headaches and migraines because of involuntary night-time teeth clenching, let North Port Oral Surgery and Dental Care 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
Laser Gum Therapy
Periodontal or gum disease is an infection of the supporting tissues and bone that hold your teeth in place. In laser gum therapy, your dentist uses a laser to access and remove the inflamed gum tissue from around the root of the tooth. This technology replaces cutting of the gum tissue with a scalpel and does not require stitches. When the infected tissue is removed and the root is exposed, the root scaling begins. This involves scraping off the tartar and plaque built up below the gumline and around the root. The dentist then smooths the root with instruments to remove any rough spots that might attract bacteria and cause future infections. The area between the gum and the root can then regenerate during the healing process.Read more about Laser Gum Therapy
SealantsRead more about Sealants
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
Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD, sometimes referred to as TMJ). These disorders occur as a result of problems associated with the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge joint on each side of your head in front of your ears that connects the lower jawbone to your skull.
Possible causes of the disorder are:
- Injury to the jaw, the joint or muscles of the head and neck, such as from a heavy blow or whiplash
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Dislocation of the ball and socket
- Arthritis in the TMJ
Common symptoms include:
- Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew or speak
- Problems when you try to open your mouth wide
- Jaws that get "stuck" or "locked" in the open- or closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew
- A tired feeling in your face
- Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite, as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
- Swelling on the side of your face
TMD can be painful. If you're experiencing any symptoms, call North Port Oral Surgery and Dental Care at 941-423-1750 right away.