Although it seems to us that everything is fine in the oral cavity, because we do not have any evident problems, it is important to regularly visit the dentist. A currently invisible problem in the oral cavity can lead to major complications later. By taking a thorough anamnesis about the general health and possibly the medications the patient is taking, we can educate him in time on how to preserve oral health.
At the first mention of an examination by a dentist, each of us first thinks of the teeth, but the examination does not include only the teeth, but the entire oral cavity (teeth, gums, tongue, palate and throat), which we call an intraoral examination, but also an extraoral examination that includes other facial and neck structures. Regular annual examinations aim to reduce the possibility of diseases for which timely detection is essential (caries, inflammations, tumors).
Unfortunately, often diseases of the oral cavity are not visible until there is more damage. General health has a great influence on the health of the oral cavity, which is often in the background.
The face and neck examination is a visual examination through palpation: the main focus is to feel the structures on the face in order to detect possible swellings, changes on the skin, enlarged lymph nodes, asymmetry on the face, and auscultation, that is, listening to the joint, whether it is heard when opening and closing the mouth.
Examination of the oral cavity includes a visual examination of the teeth (caries, old worn-out fillings, tooth mobility, presence of abrasions, attrition, etc.), gums (gum color, bleeding, etc.), tongue and sublingual space, palate, occlusion (bite) , bad breath, and the way and quality of maintaining oral hygiene. Unconscious damage to teeth is often seen in patients due to grinding and clenching of teeth, excessive brushing of teeth, etc.
The X-ray examination includes a complete image of both jaws, it is recommended to take an image once a year in order to possibly determine the presence of inflammation around the roots of the teeth that is not visible in the mouth.
The most important thing is to be regular, from a young age. In this way, a habit is created and awareness of the importance of oral health is raised. The recommendation of the World Health Organization is to do a detailed examination 1-2 times a year, but certainly more often for smokers, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people.
For a detailed examination, a probe and mirrors, as well as an X-ray, are sufficient, and be guided by the old adage “Prevention is better than cure”!